Monday, July 14, 2008

Another breakdown of logic!

Here we go, I thank a friend of mine for this one. It's even funnier than all previous ones I have encountered, so let's get down to business.
The origin of life has for several generations been a hotly contested and unnecessarily complicated issue.

What does the origin of life have to do with the theory of evolution, I've already asked this question thousands of times, yet no one seems to answer me with a decent response--EVER.

Scientists, educators and theologians staunchly stand in opposite ditches, unable to see the full picture. Their deep-seated biases have turned an inspiring subject into one filled with bitter controversy. This need not be.

So, let me get this straight, scientists (biologists in particular), educators, and theologians all have the same standing in terms of biological science? When did theologians become familiar with uracil excision from DNA? When did transposons become important in educational curriculum for grade school?

Throughout this series, the subject of evolution will be made plain. Many of its teachings will be deconstructed and the underlying assumptions exposed. You will be left with a conclusive picture about the theory of evolution. Your thinking—and understanding—about the foundation of the world will be forever changed.

Note: "made plain" is synonymous with "oversimplified for the uneducated." Also, being left with their conclusive picture of the "theory of evolution" is rather interesting considering I want people to see the evidence, THEN decide, not hear the arguments, but see the evidence. The arguments don't matter without the facts which back them up.

You have but one task as you read: Review the evidence with an open mind. Do not allow any existing bias to blind you to this crucial understanding. The implications are much greater than you probably realize.

And what evidence will you put forth, oh knower of biology?
Most scientists believe that evolution is the foundation for many disciplines of science. Biologists, geologists, archaeologists, biochemists, etc., would state that evolution is the starting point for further study.
Holy crap, Batman! What? Evolution is important for geologists? How? How is it important for archaeologists? Do you have any evidence of a geologist saying "the theory of evolution is important to the study of geology?"
Why is evolution cemented in the minds of many as fact, when it is nothing more than theory?
Because animals DO evolve, the theory of evolution is just the framework explaining how and why animals evolve. Do you see the subtle difference? One is an observation, the other is a model. So, OK, the difference is as subtle as a baseball bat to the forehead, but it is, nevertheless, there.

How did this occur?
Certain aspects of evolution may be confusing and difficult to understand. Do not be surprised! The rationale invented to support evolution is bewildering and complicated. It is tiresome and boring. Certain facts are conveniently left behind, and tedious scholarly language is used to stop most people from examining the subject in detail. Left frustrated, most assume evolution to be fact.

Actually, I find it quite refreshing, it's a good puzzle. Perhaps a bit more curiosity wouldn't hurt the incredulous. What facts, pray tell, are left behind? I am also very sorry to inform you that those that DO understand it are the ones that consider it an accurate model for explaining the observation of evolution.
This series will demystify the subject. You will know if evolution is science fact or science fiction. Convoluted and illogical theories will be simplified in a way never before presented. While some sections are technical, the more detail given, the better you will be able to see through the theory’s “smoke and mirrors.” Clear and simple logic always destroys ill-conceived suppositions.
Once evolution is dismantled, you will be left with many questions—and serious implications.
You already said this...get to the good stuff. Also, quit saying it's "illogical" without explaining WHY you think this.

Conflicting Opinions

Even a cursory review of this subject demonstrates that decades of scientific study have resulted in little more than assumption, disagreement and widespread confusion. Allow the late Colin Patterson, once the world’s foremost fossil expert, to summarize: “One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night, and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff [evolution] for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it.

Colin Patterson was trying to prop up his and Gould's punctuated equilibrium theory of evolution. Unfortunately, even punctuated equilibrium is evolution, just a slight modification of the theory.

He addressed his concerns to both the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar at the University of Chicago, saying, “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing…that is true?” Each time, he was met with weak explanations, hypotheses and theories.

He also said that quite some time ago, we know even more now, familiar with Lenski's work? I digress, what about bacterial antibiotic resistance?
The only salient comment came during the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar, in which one participant stated, “I do know one thing—it ought not to be taught in high school.”

Who said that, and why? Also, I would like a transcript, otherwise, this is here-say. I would really like your reference for this quote. I don't doubt it happened, it probably did, but I would still like to know who said it, and what his/her qualifications were.

This led Mr. Patterson to conclude, “It does seem that the level of knowledge about evolution is remarkably shallow. We know it ought not to be taught in high school, and that’s all we know about it.”

What are the facts about the theory of evolution? What do we actually know? What is the basis for its near universal acceptance?

You will be amazed at what the scientific evidence reveals!

Yes, the level of knowledge about evolution is remarkably shallow. I agree, but the only references for this quote of his is only found on creationist websites leading me to conclude it's spread like a virus throughout the creationist community.

No matter the discipline, when one is presented with a vast swath of empirical data, sound logic must be used to interpret it. Right conclusions can only be reached when proper logic is employed. Faulty logic—often called logical fallacies—cause error, confusion and misinterpretation. Sometimes these fallacies are used by accident; other times the motives are more sinister.

Yes, they are... Let's see how many you use.

In the latter case, fallacies are meant to cause an audience to misinterpret data and reach a wrong conclusion. By creating a tangled web of confusion, the data is impossible to navigate and correct conclusions are lost.

Yep, they sure are, I like this part....

While it should not be so, science is riddled with logical fallacies. Nowhere is this more true than with the subject of evolution. The seven fallacies below are the most commonly used to explain evolution. As the evidence unfolds, try to recognize these fallacies in the evolutionist’s arguments.
I hope you provide evidence of these.

Hasty Generalization: A small sample is used to reach a broad conclusion. Suppose your local car dealership only sells red cars; a hasty generalization is to conclude that all dealerships in your country only sell red cars.
Begging the Question: Often referred to as “reasoning in a circle,” or circular logic. An assumption is used to prove a conclusion; in turn, that conclusion is used to prove the original assumption.
Misuse of Authority: Pointing to a group of experts to validate a conclusion, even if those experts disagree with each other or with the conclusion. An example would be stating that dentists prefer a certain brand of toothpaste, but never actually polling them about their preference in the first place.
Appeal to the People: Using the general public as a basis for proving a hypothesis, instead of relying on relevant evidence. Stating, “Of course, everyone accepts that as fact,” would be an example.
Argument to Future:
Stating that while a theory is not yet proven, it will be with further study and investigation.
Hypothesis Contrary to Fact:
Repeating as new a theory or hypothesis already disproven. This is akin to asserting that the earth might be flat, when evidence already demonstrates otherwise.
Chronological Snobbery: When a theory is either refuted or proven by dating “evidence” as extremely old, making it either no longer available or impossible to verify.

One theme flows throughout all fallacies: They are false! Through dishonesty and lies, a proponent attempts to deceive. People would not be surprised if such a person was a snake oil salesman or a con artist. However, it is shocking how often scientists use such deception to promote the theory of evolution as irrefutable fact.

I would like to point out you forgot "quote mining" and many others... Here's a good list.

There is an overarching law governing the entire universe. It is so intrinsic to everyday life that most apply it without knowing. It is inescapable. Everyone is impacted by it.

It is the law of cause and effect.

But what about those things that have no cause? Like radioactive decay; how about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle? Not everything has a cause, get over it.

Drop a rock and it falls to the ground. The effect is the rock hitting the ground; the cause is gravity. Jump into a swimming pool on a hot day and you are refreshed. The effect is feeling refreshed; the cause is jumping into the water.

No, the cause is dropping it. Gravity is a force always acting upon it, it was in equilibrium until you let it go...

Cause and effect is so universal and proven, it carries the status of being a scientific law: causation, which states that every effect can be traced to a cause that happened before (or simultaneous to) the effect.

Except, cause and effect can go backwards in time, check out retro-causation if you really want to have your mind blown...

All effects must have causes. It is that simple.

But when does the cause happen? Which is the cause, which is the effect?

Linking cause and effect with another set of scientific laws—thermodynamics—makes the picture sharper. The word “thermodynamics” comes from the Greek words therme, meaning “heat or energy,” and dunamis, meaning “power.” It is the study of how energy is transferred, and is usually defined by three fundamental laws, on which all disciplines of science are based.

Thanks for the background on the name...I needed that. It's actually the Greek θερμη and δυναμις.

We will focus on the second law in this example (covering all in more detail later in the series). The second law states that the total entropy (unusable energy) of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value. In laymen’s terms, it can be summarized by saying that when left alone, everything “burns” its usable energy, eventually reaching a point of no usable energy.

In an ISOLATED system; if you can find an isolated system, please show it to me...

Consider: Water is heated on a burner to the boiling point. If the stove is turned off, the water’s temperature will drop instead of rise. Water will dissipate heat until it reaches room temperature.

But the water is NOT in a closed system. The water evaporates and takes the energy with it into the atmosphere. Some of the heat is transferred from the container to the air also. Not a valid example.

Here’s another example: Connect a light bulb to a battery, and it will produce light. Over time, the battery will fully drain, and you will be left with no light and a dead battery. Instead of having two usable items, both will eventually reach a state of complete entropy—no usable energy.

But the energy left in the form of light, the energy is still present, it's just left that location in the form of light (and heat). It may have given some energy to the cones and rods in your eyes, transferred some energy to the wall and heated it slightly, or escaped into the atmosphere, or off into the universe. The energy is still there.

Left alone, energy always changes from usable to unusable.

This is closely related to the law of cause and effect. Scientific laws are immutable and complement one another.

Wait, what? No, it has to do with the conservation of energy/mass.

Combining cause and effect with the second law of thermodynamics, we reach a fascinating conclusion. Every effect has a cause and, over time, all systems have less usable energy. This means that the effect always has less usable energy than the cause. Said another way, every cause results in a lesser effect. The effect must have less energy, be less complicated, be less advanced than its cause.

Really, but because of retro-causality we could, in a few thousand years, cause the beginning of the universe... Thank you for listening...

The theory of evolution states that a more “evolved” life-form (the effect) stems from a simpler one (the cause)—in violation of both cause and effect and the second law of thermodynamics.

No, it states that organisms CHANGE, complexity has nothing to do with it, complexity is something WE attribute to an organism. It gives a means for what we see as complexity to arise. In reality, it goes both ways, "complex" organisms can become less "complex" as well.

If this is going to be the whole argument dealing with thermodynamics and evolution, I'd like to refer to this page. That pretty much takes care of everything dealing with the magic of thermodynamics, I'll skip to the next good part.

Originating as the brainchild of Charles Darwin, the definition of evolution has itself evolved into many shapes and sizes. In his book, The Origin of Species, Darwin postulated that all living creatures (and, by extension, even matter) evolved from a less complex life form or substance. His theory purports that life began by accident—blind chance—and that everything we know today is the result of happenstance. While the general scope of evolution is still contested, even among evolutionists, it can be separated into six primary disciplines: cosmic, chemical, stellar and planetary, organic, macro, and micro.

Actually, the modern evolutionary synthesis (evolution), as scientists use it, deals only with the changes of living organisms, not the origin of life. That is abiogenesis. So, we have more than one type of evolution? I always thought evolution dealt with "macro" and "micro" evolution, I hate this splitting because it makes the false idea that these two are somehow different. I'll limit my discussion to these two, as the other four are neither part of biology nor part of the theory he is attacking. They lie in the realms of cosmology, astrophysics, chemistry, and biochemistry. So I'll leave the others out, simply because they are not relevant to this discussion (red herring).

The two final disciplines, macro- and micro-evolution, are most often wrongly interchanged. They are not meant to detail the origin of living matter, but attempt to explain the innumerable variety of plants and animals. Micro-evolution states that all living organisms experience mutations and have the ability to develop genetic adaptations, within a species. Macro-evolution takes this further, stating that such adaptations and mutations will, over time, create a new species of plants or animals. Micro-evolution attempts to explain variety within a particular species, while macro-evolution attempts to prove a common link between all species, families or phyla.
It's not so much that "over time, create a new species" but more along the lines of "over generations." Because frankly, time doesn't matter, generations do... We have some DNA evidence to put forth indicating common ancestry for every species we've tested so far.

This may sound complicated—because it is! Often, evolutionists cannot even agree on where the lines start and stop. They even say that macro-evolution is just micro-evolution over extremely long periods of time.

It isn't complicated... It's really simple, the problem is our classification, I'll deal with that in a later post... "macro-evolution" is "micro-evolution" over GENERATIONS, come on, I've dealt with that already...

There is ample evidence demonstrating micro-evolution. For instance, when a virus becomes resistant to antibiotics, it is indicative of micro-evolution. Often, such evidence is used to “prove” macro-evolution, thus employing the logical fallacy of hasty generalization. (To learn more about logical fallacies, read Part One of this series.) There is absolutely no solid proof for macro-evolution—none!
Except the THOUSANDS of DNA tests done to compare relationship of species the same way we compare relationships of dogs, humans, and other individuals within a species. We use the same techniques to determine relationships of individuals as we do to determine relationships of species. It's the SAME test with very similar results, albeit more distant relationships, but still, the relationship is there.

Blurring these disciplines has led to much confusion among the general public and to heated debate among scientists.
What scientist says evolution doesn't happen? If so, what do they propose, punctuated equilibrium, as I previously stated, is still evolution, just happening quickly over shorter periods of time.

Recall the logical fallacy of begging the question. It occurs when an assumption is used to prove a conclusion; in turn, that conclusion is used to prove the original assumption. The crux of evolution is based upon this fallacy. Many aspects of evolution’s fundament are nothing more than assumptions used to explain and “prove” other hypotheses. This is not the scientific method—and not how legitimate science operates!

So, where is this "begging the question"? I can make a guess, it's the whole definition of "fittest."

Approach this subject like a scientist. As you read, remember that if any assumption can be shown to be false—or impossible to validate—any conclusions based upon it crumble to pieces.

I am...

To remove all doubt, most of the major tenets of evolution will be shown to be nothing more than assumptions. Many are so important that disproving even one causes the entire theory to collapse.

Ok, let's go...get to the point, quit fluffing your paper with unimportant sidebars.

As we cover each point, the logical fallacy evolution employs will become clear. Get ready to be amazed by the “science” used to substantiate this nearly universally believed theory.

I've been waiting to be amazed for HOURS! Let's go!

The first assumption is the gradual transition of referring to the theory as a tried, tested and proven scientific fact—in essence, assuming evolution to be true. The certainty with which such statements are made leaves most people convinced that scientists have corroborating evidence. One statement from Theodosius Dobzhansky’s book, The Biological Basis of Human Freedom, illustrates the point well: “Evolution as a historical fact was proved beyond reasonable doubt not later than in the closing decades of the nineteenth century.”
Because we have LOTS of evidence, here's a VERY short list... You're also quote mining again.

Such blind conviction among some evolutionary scientists has led most schools in North America to teach evolution as both a scientific and historical fact.

And somehow, you still haven't given ANY valid evidence to the contrary...

But not all evolutionists agree with Dobzhansky’s conclusion: “What was the ultimate origin of man?…Unfortunately, any answers which can at present be given to these questions are based on indirect evidence and thus are largely conjectural” (W. LeGros Clark, Discover, Jan. 1955, emphasis ours throughout).
That was at THAT time, 1955, it's been more than half a century, and again, you're still quote mining. When we started getting modern genetic sequencing technology, we can now make pretty damn good comparisons of evolutionary history.

Pierre-Paul Grassé, a world renowned zoologist, author of more than 300 publications, and former president of the Academie des Sciences, stated, “Their success among certain biologists, philosophers, and sociologists notwithstanding, the explanatory doctrines of biological evolution do not stand up to an objective, in-depth criticism. They prove to be either in conflict with reality or else incapable of solving the major problems involved” (The Evolution of Living Organisms, 1977).
I would also assume he lived in France, in France, lamarkism was very popular, and it's ALSO a form of evolution, it just involves multiple origins of life. Again, we have evidence to the contrary of this. And you're still quote mining appeal to authority...

While these quotes speak loudly, the purpose here is not yet to disprove evolution, only to demonstrate that it is not a tried and tested fact.

A scientific fact is defined as “an observation that has been confirmed repeatedly and is accepted as true.” From just the quotes above, we can see that observations and tests show inconsistencies, and that neither an evolutionist nor an influential zoologist accepted evolution as fact. How could evolution be considered fact when such divergent opinions exist?

So, bacteria evolve resistance to drugs, specific attributes of animals change, and a number of other FACTUAL examples of evolution. Again, look at Lenski's experiment... Also, the divergent opinions exist because some people have valid questions which needed to be addressed, and have been addressed since then.

In truth, by true scientific standards, evolution is not even a theory! A scientific theory is defined as a “theory that explains scientific observations; scientific theories must be falsifiable.”

To survive as a legitimate theory, there must be some test or tests proving it valid or else it should be discarded. Without a test, it is not a scientific theory.

Lenski did a good job of this, and many zoologists test the theory every day with genetics! So do many morphologists, physiologists, and microbiologists!

For example, a theory arising from observing an orange sunset could state that the sunset is always orange. A test then exists to prove or disprove the theory. (One could watch sunsets for a year and record their color.) This means the theory fulfills the requirements to be scientific. Of course, if a red, yellow or violet sunset is observed, the honest scientist would abandon the hypothesis and develop a new theory. The cycle would continue until a theory is proven as fact. This is the basis of the scientific method.
No, that is NOT a theory, it is a hypothesis, a prediction about a specific example, the theory would explain WHY it does it, not what it does. A theory is a model.

Does the theory of evolution meet these two conditions? Is it the result of scientific observation, and can it be put to the test? It could be argued that with no observed examples of macro-evolution on record, the theory is more based on faith, hope and belief than scientific observation. Further, nearly all evolutionists purport that most major evolutionary changes occurred millions of years ago. But events in the distant past are not testable and, therefore, cannot ever be proven (or disproven).
What two conditions? A theory explains an observation, it has been tested. There AREN'T examples of macroevolution? Ever heard of ring species?

When evidence that is no longer available (because it is extremely old) is used to prove a premise, the logical fallacy of chronological snobbery has been employed!
This is why Lenski froze all of his bacterial cultures at every stage.
Evolutionists should recognize their “theory” is neither a scientific fact nor even a theory. This may explain why most resort to convoluted arguments and logical fallacies.

Why isn't it a theory, you haven't put forth any valid argument yet...

Such thinking is best summarized by world-renowned biochemist Dr. Michael Denton: “His [Darwin’s] general theory that all life on earth had originated and evolved by a gradual successive accumulation of fortuitous mutations, is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from that self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe” (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis).

Denton is an idiot and presents no valid evidence either, I've read all of his books, they're completely bogus.

Evolution is not a fact; it is not even a scientific theory. As Dr. Denton stated, it is nothing more than a “highly speculative hypothesis.” Again we can ask: How can something so contested, even by those who profess to believe it, be taught in schools as fact?
As I stated earlier, Denton is a dolt.

One of the most basic tenets of evolution is the assumption of “survival of the fittest.” Simply put, it is the concept that nature grants preference to the fittest and most adaptable of a species to produce offspring and therefore survive.

Reproduction of the fittest, survival doesn't matter...close enough, though.

You may have heard this so many times that you have never questioned this seemingly logical statement. Remember, you must approach evolution scientifically, not based on assumption or ingrained presumptions.

I am approaching it scientifically...

Famous polymath author Arthur Koestler addressed this subject well: “Once upon a time, it all looked so simple. Nature rewarded the fit with the carrot of survival and punished the unfit with the stick of extinction. The trouble only started when it came to defining fitness...Thus natural selection looks after the survival and reproduction of the fittest, and the fittest are those which have the highest rate of reproduction...We are caught in a circular argument which completely begs the question of what makes evolution evolve” (Janus: A Summing Up).

Those animals which are better able to survive and produce more offspring pass on more of their DNA to future generations. THIS is what is meant by evolution. You're making a straw man. Stop it.

In other words, the fittest are those who survive; and those who survive are deemed the fittest. This is circular logic! It assumes that just because something survived, it is the fittest.

Straw man....

In science, you cannot base a conclusion on an assumption, especially if you then use the conclusion to prove the original assumption. This would not pass muster in a high school debate class, but has tragically become all too common in evolutionary science.

Unfortunately it isn't evolutionary theory that you are arguing against, it's your straw man.

Survival of the fittest is a loose “tautology,” a way of saying something redundantly. For instance, “survivors survive”; “water is wet”; “matter is material”; and so on. Such statements do not prove anything, because they are nothing more than truisms.

Yea...too bad that's not what it states.

Yet even with such information, evolutionists willingly ignore the facts: “Most evolutionary biologists seem unconcerned about the charge and make only a token effort to explain the tautology away. The remainder…simply concede the fact. For them, natural selection is a tautology which states a heretofore unrecognized relation: The fittest—defined as those who will leave the most offspring—will leave the most offspring” (emphasis ours).

There is no tautology, the tautology is in your straw man...

You're still arguing “What is most unsettling is that some evolutionary biologists have no qualms about proposing tautologies as explanations. One would immediately reject any lexicographer who tried to define a word by the same word, or a thinker who merely restated his proposition, or any other instance of gross redundancy; yet no one seems scandalized that men of science should be satisfied with a major principle which is no more than a tautology” (Gregory Alan Peseley, The Epistemological Status of Natural Selection).

See the last 5 comments of mine...

Some scientists may argue, “We have witnessed natural selection. It happens around the world on a daily basis. It is provable!” They point to natural selection as a means to remove the unfit—not a process that favors the “fittest.” At best, you could call natural selection a “survival of the average.”'re still arguing against your straw man... I'll skip to the conclusions....

Even with just two assumptions of evolution detailed, you should already begin to understand how so many scientists illogically view evolution as fact. The scientific theory of evolution has already broken down just by using logic.

You propped up straw men and said you defeated the theory of evolution; all you defeated was your straw man...

We ended Part One with the question of how it could be taught in high schools; we could now ask why it is believed by anyone. There is much, much more to cover as this faulty science is exposed and the house of cards completely topples.

Because of the evidence... What you argue against is NOT the theory of evolution as it is defined, it is a staw man argument which falls apart on its own, please educate yourself.

No comments:


Stumble Upon Toolbar