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Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4238
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2008,20:40   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 28 2008,20:07)
Bill,

Thanks for your points. I'm pretty happy with my original unscientific prediction. Even though it's not "testable", it's tested every time someone attempts to piece together an evolutionary pathway, and even though it's "unfalsifiable", it can be proven false if only one of those pathways is completed. I'm not as concerned with its scientific-correctness as I am with its correctness. I'd rather be upfront about my belief in God than try to hide it within science. Of course, I'm not a scientist.

I don't have much problem with this, so long as you don't claim scientific status for your assertion. It does put you in the peculiar position of hoping that scientific progress within evolutionary biology stalls. And, in my opinion, your belief has prompted you to badly misperceive the current state of evolutionary science.
 
Quote
On the other hand, we have the very scientific issue of front-loaded evolution. The case for this (in one form or another) has been made by real scientists such as one of Russia's premier biologists - Leo Berg, one of Germany's leading paleontologists - Otto Schindewolf, a leading German/American geneticist - Richard Goldschmidt, and many others. This is an issue I'm ill prepared to defend, (not being a scientist myself), but which resides on purely scientific grounds. Some of the cases I've pointed to here - such as phenotypic capacitors and the Trichoplax - confirm (to me anyway) the validity of such hypotheses as well as the Universal Genome and the Prescribed Evolutionary hypotheses.

I invite you to really give some thought to what I previously said about frontloading:
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Front loading would require pre-storage of the countless adaptations, speciation events, ecological interactions, arms races, and even extinction events that have characterized the story of the survival of life on earth, such that countless biological adaptations remain tightly coupled to an endless succession of changing environments and ecosystems over billions of years. Yet the environmental transitions that demand these changes result from physical processes (planetary, geological, meteorological, astronomical, etc.) that are themselves inherently contingent and unguided and cannot themselves possibly have been "arranged," "planned," or "predicted." This includes the changing microenvironments and apposite adaptations of every extinct and every extant lineage that has taken its place among the astronomical number of ramifications of the tree of life.

This problem stands regardless of the storage capacity of DNA, the action of imaginary error correction methods, even a mechanism to limit the triggering of the expression of adaptive features such that they conform to the nested patterns we would expect to result from descent with modification. It would require the designer, as he assembled the first organisms and stuffed them with all this information, to either exercise complete foreknowledge of, or anticipate sustaining complete control over, the output of the sun, the timing and consequences of asteroid impacts, the tectonic formation and reformation of continents and oceans, along with the accompanying geological events, climatological changes, advancing and receding ice sheets, and countless other factors, over billions of years.

IMHO, the only agent capable of "front loading" that responds to this description would be God, due to the the requirement for either foreknowledge and/or control. But that creates a problem for your assertion that frontloading is an "utterly scientific" hypothesis - having conceded that an explanatory scheme that revolves around the supernatural cannot be formulated as a scientific assertion.

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
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