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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thoughts on Natural Selection

One of the more irritating tactics of evolutionary apologists is their habit of hand-waving.

An example of this is when people express doubts about the ability of random mutations to produce the features we see in organisms.

"Not to worry," says the evolutionist. "Whilst mutation is random, natural selection is not. Natural selection does the hard work needed to ensure that only those mutations that lead to the favourable outcome are preserved."

Even if we leave aside the fact that educated evolutionists dispute whether mutation and natural selection are able to achieve this end (for example the book "What Darwin Got Wrong") natural selection is not deterministic. Natural selection only favors survival, but the requirements of survival varies with the environment.

To give an analogy, one person rolls a 20 sided dice (D20). This is the survival criteria. He then rolls another D20, this is the rate of environmental change. A second person then rolls another D20. They have a number of tries equal to the second roll to attempt to achieve the first. If they fail to do so then they are eliminated.

Like this analogy the requirements and environmental changes of natural selection are fairly random. Consequently it cannot offer the kind of determination that evolutionary advocates demand.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reply at Susan's

History vs Myth March 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm
“To correct. There is precisely zero evidence to support the case of the Jesus mythicists. We have, in order of details, the four gospels, the writings of Paul”

Jesus is god. How do you know? The bible says so. That’s circular logic my friend.

“mentions by Josephus and mentions by Tacitus and Pliny to support the case that in first century Palestine there was an individual called Jesus, from Nazareth, who went about as a itinerant Rabbi, was crucified under Roman law, and within a very short time of his death was worshiped as a god; to borrow from Pliny.”

It may be such a figure existed. The mythical part is all the woo-woo associated with him; virgin birth, resurrection, being god, etc.
Krishna existed in history too. Lifting Govardhan on his pinky for 7 days? We can’t say that is a provable fact.
Nevertheless both figures offer much inspiration to humanity today.
I’d say between myth and history, its often myth that is more powerful, meaningful and transformative for us on a personal level. I am not anti-woo woo or anti-unscientific miraculous stories that inspire. They definetely have there place, but its not in science.

Duke of Earl said...

I'm afraid you would be more convincing if you took a course in basic logic.

If the Bible contains the proposition that Jesus is God, then it is not circular reasoning to report that the Bible says that Jesus is God.

What are the sources for Krishna, how close to his life were they written? How many other references to his life and activities do we have. Simply asserting that someone claims Krishna did such and such does not mean much.

Anonymous said...

Circular logis is when you use a "proof" that is the same thing that you are trying to prove.

"The bible is the world of god"

How do you know?

"the bible says so"

There is no outside objective and scientific proof.

But I'm not against placebos if they "work".

Irrational belief in the non-scientific can help people who would otherwise be very depressed, and one could argue its better than taking pharmaceuticals.

Irrational belief has its emotional value.

Duke of Earl said...

Hmm, keep talking to the voices in your head. They're amusing me.

Since I didn't make the argument you claim, merely using the Bible as the historical document it is to defend what we know about Jesus your argument is a strawman.

One of the people in this thread is capable of rational thought. Based on your contribution so far it's not you.

Exfernal said...

Why not read "Climbing Mount Improbable" by Dawkins? I know, he is often obnoxious, but the book is interesting.

Duke of Earl said...

He starts climbing Mount Improbable 6 inches from the top and ignores the gulf behind him.