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Reading about the ID/Evolution conflict

  1. Apr 3, 2006 #1

    daniel_i_l

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    I was reading about the ID/Evolution conflict and saw some of the arguments aginst evolution. Some of them were pretty convincing:
    1) I the first human on the moon would find a clock, noone would belive that the clock got there "by chance", it'd be easier to belive that aliens (or the Russians) put it there.
    2) The body, and even one cell are so complicated and elegant, where each part has an exact purpose, and without just one part they'd die. How could that all evolve by chance and how did all of the critical organs appear at once?

    The list goes on but those are the main ones. So does evolution answer those questions or does it look at them as unimportant and hope that maybe later the answers will come? I personally think that evolution is a beutifull theory, but those questions have been naging me for weeks.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. Apr 3, 2006 #2

    Monique

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    And where did the russian come from.
    Ask yourself that question with a car in mind. How did it appear, you need every little bolt for it to work.. how did an engineer think to put everything together in such a masterplan? Truth is that a car evolved over years and at first was very simple. That does not take away that the end-result IS very elegant and intricate :smile:
     
  4. Apr 3, 2006 #3

    daniel_i_l

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    But for the car you need an engineer, there is basicly 0 chance of the car, even a simple one being built on its own, how can we accept a theory that's against such impossible odds?
    Thanks.
     
  5. Apr 3, 2006 #4

    DaveC426913

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    1) Logical error: faulty analogy. We would first have to accept that finding advanced life is analagous to finding a working clock on the Moon.

    2) Evolution does answer this issue. (But it's not a simple answer, which is why the simplistic question sounds convincing to those who have not studied the theory.)

    The flaw in the argument comes from a misunderstanding of how evolution works. Suggesting that a given item evolved all at once with the critical elements in place is tantamount to suggesting that birds first appeared with fully working feathers and the ability to fly, and that there were no intevening steps wherein they had a bodily coating that had other purposes than flying.

    The key to understanding evolution is to understand that the parts evolved first, and evolved as a result of other survival needs. The use to which those parts were put came afterwards when they were they found to be repurposable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  6. Apr 3, 2006 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Yah, Monique, that's exactly the wrong argument, becasue it's an argument FOR ID.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2006 #6

    Monique

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    It just goes to show that with small steps you can build a big thing and that something complicated can come from something simple. Maybe not the best example.
     
  8. Apr 3, 2006 #7
    Also, the problem with ID isn't that it states that things were ultimately created by some intelligent being. The problem with ID lies in the fact that it touts itself as science, yet follows no scientific principles. ID is a fine philosophy, faith, whatever, as long as it stays out of trying to dictate the science of biology.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2006 #8

    DaveC426913

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    OK, but the OP is not asking about what ID puts forth, he is merely asking about the validity of the arguments against natural evolution.
     
  10. Apr 3, 2006 #9

    DaveC426913

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    Right. But it makes the point that an intelligent designer is required to make a big thing out of small steps, which is precisely what ID is trying to say.
     
  11. Apr 3, 2006 #10
    This is not quite true. There are numerous redundant systems in the body and in a cell. Millions of cells die every die and are replaced. The cells aren't replaced and then die. Also, cells become damaged but are repaired at an amazing rate. Most individual organelles inside a cell can die or become non-functioning, but this doesn't cause cell death. So the whole idea of a cell, body, organ dieing without just one part is completely wrong. It depends on how much of it is damaged (and how much varies from organ system to organ system).
     
  12. Apr 3, 2006 #11

    Monique

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    That is why I said it is not the best example. The point I was trying to make is that all critical organs needn't appear at once, that evolution AND design can build up from a simpler prototype. A better example would be grouping organisms into a phylogenetic tree and showing their common descent (for instance the different mechanisms for energy generation). You can also compare organisms that were seperated in space and look at their divergence: evolution in progress (for instance the worm C. elegans: one variety was isolated in England, the other Hawaii. Both worms have a common descent but show subtle differences, for instance in their mating behaviour).
     
  13. Apr 3, 2006 #12

    Moonbear

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    Patty elegantly answered your first question. I'll answer this one.

    All one needs to do is find examples where this is not true to show the reasoning is flawed. Not every part has a purpose or is needed for survival of the organism. Many are redundant or vestigial. A few obvious examples come to mind quite quickly in the human on an organ system level (there are many more examples at a cellular or molecular level, but there's no need to get into those when we can think of some at a more macroscopic level). If you damage your spleen, it can be removed, and you'll survive just fine. With kidneys, we only need one of them, so can survive well enough if one of the pair ceases to function properly, as does happen. Our appendix is considered a vestigial organ with no function in humans (other animals have a well-developed cecum that aids in digestion of plant material, but it doesn't seem to serve that function in humans), so that when it becomes infected, it can be removed and we continue to live quite well. Tonsils are thought to have useful function for children in development of the immune system, but when they chronically become inflamed/infected, then they hinder health/survival unless removed.

    I can give you a few examples at a cell/molecular level too, but I'll only do so if you request it, because it will take a good deal more explaining of the biology that accompanies it than examples using organ systems with which we're all familiar.
     
  14. Apr 3, 2006 #13

    DaveC426913

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    Hang on - the OP is talking about some very specific examples that the ID-theorists have come up with, he's not talking about just any old interdependent systems.

    I can't remember what they are, or the details, but there are several well-known examples - such as the complex eye and the mitochrondrial cell or somesuch - that generally, are very difficult to explain how they came to be (at least, to ID-theorists, that is).
     
  15. Apr 3, 2006 #14
    It isnt necesarily a false analogy, since it isnt claimed that the cell is analogous to the clock, only that it could be analogous to the clock. The clock example demonstrates that even if a clock (or some unknown alien-produced device)was found, people would still claim it was the result of chance and evolution, because the design alternative is regarded as unnatural. It also shows that even if a natural (non-design) alternative is given, that still doesnt make the non-design alternative right. In that sense the example simply demonstrates that the design option should not be dismissed out of hand.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  16. Apr 3, 2006 #15
    This example I am not familiar with, something tells me this is some comment to a thesis like Schrödinger’s Cat.
    Well we know it didn’t appear at once especially as theology depicts. I say this because of a physical item such as “dinosaur bones;” it would mean they were put into the earth for our curiosity or just to employ people, you make that determination for us. Evolution and the basis is a sound viable method of assisting and understanding. For example; do you look like your parents or your grand parents, etc….. Or the platypus …. If that critter did not evolve to fill an evolutionary niche then the creator has a great sense of humor.

    Living things are all organized supporting each other to accomplish the ability to continue, recreate… etc…. so this would apply not only to a single cell, but also a multi-organ creature, all the way to a society of ants or even an ecologic system. Autonomy is superficial when addressing a system and any description should have the same parameters no matter the scale. So parts or organs are important even though immediate survival adjustments are made.

    That’s a great statement and going to the molecular level will be a must just as Patty mentioned. So defining what laws can describe the base parts of a living thing at the molecular level is necessary before the rest of the descriptions can be thoughtfully completed.

    What a concept!
     
  17. Apr 3, 2006 #16
    So here I ask can we entertain ideas?

    and thanks PIT2 ... I like a thinker who can share good thought processing!
     
  18. Apr 3, 2006 #17

    Phobos

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    A clock is a known human artifact and the moon is a place where clock-making humans have visited. What if you found a complex, self reproducing, unidentified, organic thing on a planet we've never been to?

    As I note below, the "chance" argument is a strawman.

    (1) Remember that evolution is not random chance. Not meaning to personify nature here, but natural selection selects variations that work. Variations that work eventually make other variations that work differently. Some variations include additions or delations. Eventually you can get a complex looking thing which would seem impossible if you assumed it all came together at once. Which is not what evolution shows.
    (2) As noted above, critical organs did not appear all at once. Also note that with duplicate genes, a cell can still perform a critical task while the duplicate is allowed to vary. If the variation is better than the original, then the original can be replaced.
    (3) On a large scale, consider vestigal features. On a small scale, consider duplicate or inactive genes.
     
  19. Apr 4, 2006 #18

    Gokul43201

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    This is true, and it only tells you how science works - nothing about why Evolution is wrong.

    The existence of aliens and Russians is not contradictory to our current scientific framework. The existence of an omnipotent being that violates the framework of our science is contradictory to the framework of our science.

    With this scientific framework, we can assign/estimate probabilities to various events. The probability that Russians propelled a clock to the moon is pretty low. The probability that aliens once visited the moon and left no noticeable trace (other than the clock) is also pretty darn low. The probability that the clock self assembled is, however, much lower than the above two numbers.

    As for complex lifeforms, from a purely theoretical point of view, the probability that they self-evolved is much greater than the probability that an undetected, unobserved being that violates this theoretical construct engineered their evolution. The former probability is greatly enhanced by observational evidence.
     
  20. Apr 4, 2006 #19
    of course in a … ‘theoretical point of view’…. But what about within your reasoned thoughts knowing what you do now? Could it be possible that all life is based from a basic law of physics and progressed from there? And that maybe a re-look at how this “life” or possible energy is described upon the molecular structures could be a good place to look?

    Maybe just an idea ….theoretically speaking of course! :rolleyes:
     
  21. Apr 4, 2006 #20

    Phobos

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    When you say something "looks" designed, you should ask yourself by what standard you are judging it. Similarity to other designed things? Absense of knowledge of how it works?
     
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