diotimajsh wrote:Did anyone else watch the trailer and seriously crack up when Stein said, "publishing Dr. Meyer's paper would not have been an issue if we were living in the time of Galileo or Einstein," (emphasis mine) and then went on about how in the contemporary era of Darwin, "those who challenge the status quo seldom go unpunished"?
Heh. And the funny part? Publishing the paper isn't the problem. Getting a reputable scientific journal to give it the time of day is the problem.
Malice wrote:A true follower of science should welcome others' critical evaluation of current theory.
You mean "quality critical evaluation"? Someone complaining about the font the published paper was in, and that it proves that the theory is wrong, is just annoying.
22/7 wrote:Ok, then. Use science to prove that 100% of all "religious based arguments" are "nothing more than dogmatic nonsense". Completely disregarding a stance because it disagrees with your stance is, at it's very core, unscientific.
Dogma is a word used to describe the beliefs of a religious organization. So religious based arguments are dogmatic arguments: based off of the dogma of the religion. There are two common tests to determine if an argument is scientific nonsense. The first is the positivist test: can the argument be proven wrong. The second is Occam's Razor: does the argument include extra entities or causes or parts that aren't needed to explain the situation.
An argument based in faith is non-positivist: it cannot be proven wrong, so it is scientific nonsense.
An argument that presumes the existence of an entity, such as God, that is not required by observations is scientific nonsense.
So any religious based arguments that are based off of faith are, scientifically, dogmatic nonsense.
Any religious based arguments that presume the existence of god are, scientifically, dogmatic nonsense.
You disregard a stance because it doesn't have a history or producing positive claims and predictions that are distinct from your existing model's positive claims and predictions. This is the right thing to do with junk science, really it is.
Does this prove that 100% of X has quality Y? No: but that requirement is silly. All you need to know is that it has a history of generating crap results. If it starts generating good
predictions (ie, both surprising and distinct from the existing model, and true predictions not hindsight), then it starts gaining credibility. But time is a limited resource, and the number of crack-pot theories that generate crap results is unbounded: one cannot waste time looking at all of them just because they really really want you to!
I'm a scientist and I think I see some inaccuracies in your geological dating methods" people
Sure. Build a model that generates better predictions.
There are decades of work into making the dating methods work: there is plenty of room to work on repairing errors in the dating methods.
Note, however, that many of the geological dating methods used cross-correlate with other ones which use quite different methods. So when you propose an error in one dating method, in order to be credible you also have to track down the cross-correlations and explain how they are wrong as well...
There is a mountain
of evidence, not just a pebble, that one has to deal with. Centuries of documented research and testing and checking...
There are people trying to cause life to form in labs. I've seen dozens of them: none of them have access to the ability to run biology for millions of years over millions of sites.
iop wrote:It is very difficult to make the point that increased complexity would increase fitness. Complexity is actually one of the weakest points of evolution through natural selection. Of course, based on genetic evidence, there is no doubt that complex organisms evolved, but natural selection is unlikely to have been the driving force.
Huh? The creation of complexity when you apply natural selection to a population is an observed effect. We can see complexity emerge in computer simulations that use reproduction with variation and selection against test functions.
Useful complexity isn't cheap, no. But useful complexity is, by definition, useful. Note that there isn't a "tide towards complexity" -- the vast majority of biomass on the planet earth is bacteria who are not as complex as human beings. But to build up a complex system that is useful, you need more natural selection than building up a simple system that is useful.
Thus one should expect complex solutions to the selection function to occur after more time applying natural selection than the simpler solutions. If you graph "max complexity" vs "time", you end up with a graph with peaks that form an upward slope.
The problem with multicellular organisms is that a) there aren't really compelling advantages that come with being complex,
Being a multicellular organism is very useful!
and that b) the population size of multicellular organisms tends to be small, thus decreasing the strength of natural selection.
Note that sexual reproduction is very common among multicellular organisms. This increases the strength of natural selection.
Second, a decrease in "strength" doesn't mean anything if you don't specify what the baseline strength is.
There is quite a bit of danger of circular logic with evolution due to natural selection. If you assume that evolution occurs solely through natural selection, then, obviously, everything that has evolved was advantageous in some way, which is why it evolved.
We can see natural selection occurs. If we assume it occurs, it is sufficient to explain the observations. Some surprising things, such as the existence of DNA
, are predicted by it, lending credence to the assumption.
Species models based off of form and species models based off of DNA seem to match up pretty damn well. When they don't match up, further investigation demonstrates that the form is less of a match up than it appeared superficially.
Rather inefficient systems in an organism are examined, and (together with DNA-based family trees and still living relatives along a branch) one can produce decent models that explain how the inefficient hacks came about. (Like the human salt management system).
JoshuaZ wrote:Er, please look up non-overlapping magisteria and theistic evolution. Certain classes of questions are not scientific because they are untestable. That doesn't make them wrong or not worth thinking about. It simply means that science cannot examine them. This applies to a variety of different classes of questions not just the strictly religious but also statements about morality or aesthetics. Please don't turn this into a science v. religion claim; that's exactly what many of the ID and YEC proponents want it to be. That's not what this is about.
But a scientist should dismiss them
(those non-scientific claims) when working on science. And when they attempt to insert themselves into "I'm science to", they should be laughed out of the house.
iop wrote:The "junk" DNA can only arise in organisms that are under low selective pressure, because it's a big waste of energy. Thus, it is unlikely to have arisen through natural selection. I am not sure whether you can call that complexity.
Note that the cost of eliminating the "junk" DNA has to be factored in, as well as benefits from having that "junk" DNA around, and the cost of keeping the "junk" DNA around.
Determining what DNA is "junk" is not easy -- let's suppose the organism just deletes 1% of it's DNA on 1% of it's children. It is good enough at this that 25% of the time the DNA deleted was actually junk, and the kid lives!
Deleting 1% of the DNA saves 0.1% of the metabolic load of the critter.
So in exchange for 0.75% reduction in reproduction, your kids have 0.1% more efficient metabolisms. That might not be worth it even when you are under intense selective pressure!
On top of that, having "old" DNA around can be useful when you mutate. That protean that you aren't using any more can be reactivated with a simple mutation -- which might turn out to be useful. Heck, maybe you where a creature that wandered into the sea and had it's legs turned into flippers: being able to roll back those changes through random mutation means that your future offspring might be able to colonize a land mass at some point in the future faster than if they had to reevolve the legs from scratch.
Heck, even if they don't code for anything, by letting it random walk and pick up stuff from elsewhere in our genome (or heck, get overwritten by a virus), it allows for a future small mutation to generate a larger change than it would otherwise.
As JoshuaZ mentioned, these sections might be under zero immediate
selective pressure if they are just old stuff. They could still have some small advantage, and it could still be too expensive to do a genetic audit to get rid of them.