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Author Topic:   No Witnesses
Modulous
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 106 of 215 (657294)
03-27-2012 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by crashfrog
03-27-2012 11:55 AM


"See" has a pretty expansive definition that includes nearly all forms of optical prosthesis.
I don't dispute that. What I am saying is that there is a significant difference between 'seeing Mickey Mouse' by showing us a picture of Mickey Mouse. And 'seeing the Queen' by showing us a picture of the Queen.
Mickey Mouse is only a picture, so a picture of Mickey Mouse is as much Mickey Mouse as anything. Whereas if I were to say I have seen the Queen - the most natural understanding of that would be to believe I have seen the person of the Queen rather than a picture of the Queen. The latter is unremarkable whereas the former is somewhat interesting.
People would groan and throw things at me if I were to say 'Last night I saw the Queen....on television'.
If I were to say 'I have witnessed primates evolving into humans' I would be by most sane understandings, lying. Even if I have 'seen it' through the prosthesis of genetic evidence or what have you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by crashfrog, posted 03-27-2012 11:55 AM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by crashfrog, posted 03-30-2012 8:48 AM Modulous has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 107 of 215 (657297)
03-27-2012 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by crashfrog
03-27-2012 8:47 AM


Have you seen Mickey Mouse?
I wouldn't say so, but then perhaps I am more pedantic in my speech than the average person. On the other hand, the average person would definitely say that I have not seen the Loch Ness Monster, despite having seen a cartoon drawing of it.
As I say, I'm happy with the English language being a bit sloppy and inconsistent, because that's OK, we can use context to understand what people mean: if a small child claims to have seen Mickey Mouse, I'd suppose that she'd been to Disneyland and seen someone dressed as Mickey Mouse, not that she'd actually seen Mickey Mouse, a fictional character.
On the other hand, when we are discussing technical questions in epistemology, maybe we ought to use more technical definitions, rather than those used by a four-year-old girl. If you have seen a cartoon of macroevolution, you haven't seen macroevolution. If you have seen a cartoon of the Loch Ness Monster, you haven't seen the Loch Ness Monster.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by crashfrog, posted 03-27-2012 8:47 AM crashfrog has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 108 of 215 (657298)
03-27-2012 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by crashfrog
03-27-2012 11:55 AM


I don't think it would be misleading, because I don't think anyone would think that you were claiming to be a time traveler. Similarly, people talking about 9/11 reminisce about what they were thinking when they "saw the twin towers fall", irrespective of whether they were actually at Ground Zero when that happened. Most people making that statement watched it happen on TV, even in New York.
"See" has a pretty expansive definition that includes nearly all forms of optical prosthesis.
As, for example, in the phrase: "We can see macroevolution in the fossil record".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by crashfrog, posted 03-27-2012 11:55 AM crashfrog has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 109 of 215 (657304)
03-27-2012 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by crashfrog
03-27-2012 11:51 AM


I don't think you can witness that happening, do you?
Yeah, I think you can, particularly when generational times are fairly low (like 40 minutes or so.)
From the message you replied to:
quote:
Now, I realize you might wanna count the arrival of a new species of bacteria as technically being macroevolution, and you could argue that we could point to that and witness it, but I don't really think that's what people are talking about. Its more about gross morphological change. Something that undeniably evolution in a loose sense. As you say:
quote:
as populations change and grow - as described statistically, stoichometrically - over long periods of time.

ABE:
From Message 105
Similarly, people talking about 9/11 reminisce about what they were thinking when they "saw the twin towers fall", irrespective of whether they were actually at Ground Zero when that happened.
And if someone would have said that they "witnessed the twin towers fall", then we'd be under the inpression that they were there.
Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by crashfrog, posted 03-27-2012 11:51 AM crashfrog has not replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1574 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 110 of 215 (657725)
03-30-2012 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by Modulous
03-27-2012 12:28 PM


People would groan and throw things at me if I were to say 'Last night I saw the Queen....on television'.
I don't think they would. They might wonder what your point is, but "last night, I saw the Queen on TV" is a completely quotidian statement in English, not groan-worthy in the least. It's roughly the same as "I saw the new episode of Game of Thrones on TV last night", and nobody would accuse you of lying simply because you did see it on TV, and not live on set during filming in Malta or wherever the fuck.
If I were to say 'I have witnessed primates evolving into humans' I would be by most sane understandings, lying.
Well, right, but the word we're talking about is "see", not "witness." And you can see that primates evolved into humans. With your eyes and everything.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Modulous, posted 03-27-2012 12:28 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Modulous, posted 03-30-2012 9:18 AM crashfrog has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 111 of 215 (657727)
03-30-2012 9:18 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by crashfrog
03-30-2012 8:48 AM


People would groan and throw things at me if I were to say 'Last night I saw the Queen....on television'.
They might wonder what your point is, but "last night, I saw the Queen on TV" is a completely quotidian statement in English, not groan-worthy in the least.
The sentence you wrote is not groanworthy, I agree. But if I said "I saw the Queen last night" people might assume I had attended a Royal Visit or gone to Buckingham palace or somesuch. It would then elicit a groan if I were to later say 'on TV' because now it becomes a banal state of affairs. That's what the ellipsis was all about.
If I were to say 'I have witnessed primates evolving into humans' I would be by most sane understandings, lying.
Well, right, but the word we're talking about is "see", not "witness."
But we're talking about the word 'see' in the sense of witnessing. If we're not - we're probably off topic:
quote:
Are witnesses really necessary to count evolution as a legitimate theory?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by crashfrog, posted 03-30-2012 8:48 AM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by crashfrog, posted 03-30-2012 9:53 AM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1574 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 112 of 215 (657730)
03-30-2012 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by Modulous
03-30-2012 9:18 AM


But if I said "I saw the Queen last night" people might assume I had attended a Royal Visit or gone to Buckingham palace or somesuch. It would then elicit a groan if I were to later say 'on TV' because now it becomes a banal state of affairs.
But here the ambiguity is a function of why you think it's comment-worthy to have seen the Queen (on TV or in person.) It's not a function of you using or misusing the word "see", which is what we're talking about.
But we're talking about the word 'see' in the sense of witnessing.
I've been pursuing Dr. A's position that looking at the display of an infrared imager doesn't count as "seeing in infrared." But "see", as a word, is sufficiently broad to encompass such an act of seeing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Modulous, posted 03-30-2012 9:18 AM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 113 of 215 (658041)
04-02-2012 1:02 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by NoNukes
03-15-2012 11:19 AM


NoNukes responds to me:
quote:
We view objects by allowing light from the object to enter our eye, where portions of our eye are sensitive to that light.
This is such a hyper-fine definition of "view" as to be worthless. Why must the only legitimate method be a direct path of a single photon from object to retina? Why are mechanical means of amplifying photons or detecting photons that do not stimulate the nerves in our eyes disallowed?
quote:
I think Dr. A has done a pretty good job of explaining why an STM is not viewing.
Only by an unacceptable definition of "viewing."

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by NoNukes, posted 03-15-2012 11:19 AM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 114 of 215 (658043)
04-02-2012 1:17 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by NoNukes
03-15-2012 6:54 PM


NoNukes writes:
quote:
My point is merely that when a creationist says that a dog giving birth to something other than a dog has never been witnessed, the statement is true
A dog? Yes. But we've witnessed lots of other species giving birth to something other than the species they are.
Surely dogs aren't the sole criterion to determine speciation, are they?
To a creationist, "macroevolution" is a moving target meaning, "evolutionary changes I don't think we've ever seen." It used to be that a "kind" meant "species"...but then we saw speciation happen. So now they demand processes that tend to take longer than humans have been keeping records about evolutionary changes.
quote:
A creationist believes that there is some absolute, God enforced barrier between "kinds"
Which they refuse to define.
So why do we care what they think?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by NoNukes, posted 03-15-2012 6:54 PM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 115 of 215 (658045)
04-02-2012 1:38 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by Dr Adequate
03-16-2012 3:32 PM


Dr Adequate writes:
quote:
Now, in plain English I'm lying or at the very least abusing language when I claim to have seen the Loch Ness Monster.
Um, you've made an error. The problem isn't with the verb, "seen." It's with the noun, "Loch Ness Monster." Anybody who contradicts you in your claim isn't going to be assaulting your means of detection but rather the object of your detection.
That is, they're not going to say, "You engaged in some other kind of verb of the Loch Ness Monster." Instead, they're going to say, "That's not the Loch Ness Monster."
quote:
And yet when a machine makes a series of measurements and, based on a theory that tells it how to interpret those measurements, synthesizes a visual representation of its data, you wish to say that someone looking at this visual representation has "seen" atoms.
Yes. Because "seen" is not restricted to the detection of photons reflected off an object and traversing space without being absorbed and re-emitted until they are intercepted by a retinal cell.
quote:
Now, the English language is a bit sloppy.
Indeed, but this is not an example of it. Nobody is confused over this use of "see." It means a direct experience whether it be mechanically assisted or not. Any debate is over what was seen, not that you didn't "really see" it.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-16-2012 3:32 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 116 of 215 (658047)
04-02-2012 2:24 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by NoNukes
03-25-2012 12:08 PM


NoNukes writes:
quote:
Then it must be the case that "seeing" atoms is not direct evidence of atoms bonding.
Incorrect. In fact, our imaging techniques have made it so we can actually see the bonds.
In 3D.
Turns out those pictures from your chemistry book about pi-bonds? They were right. They really do look like that.
Nobody is confused by using "see" in this manner.
quote:
Accordingly, a definition of seeing that requires you to say that you have seen Lochy when you have only seen the picture in your post cannot possibly be the only correct definition.
Incorrect. The problem is not the verb "see" but rather then noun "Loch Ness Monster." Nobody is contesting the method of perception, only the object that was perceived.
quote:
The alternative is to give up on discussing some concepts in English.
Incorrect. The alternative is to stop playing dumb.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by NoNukes, posted 03-25-2012 12:08 PM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 117 of 215 (658048)
04-02-2012 2:41 AM
Reply to: Message 102 by New Cat's Eye
03-27-2012 9:51 AM


Catholic Scientist writes:
quote:
As you say:
as populations change and grow - as described statistically, stoichometrically - over long periods of time.
I don't think you can witness that happening, do you?
Yes.
Because we have.
Multiple times.
In the lab and in the wild.
On plenty of organisms.
Why would you have us deny that?
quote:
You guys are getting hung up on what "seeing" means, when the topic is witnessing.
Indeed, they are getting hung up on the word "seeing" when the problem isn't the verb, it's the noun. Nobody is disputing that things have been "witnessed." What is disputed is what those things are.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-27-2012 9:51 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-02-2012 11:16 AM Rrhain has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 118 of 215 (658104)
04-02-2012 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 117 by Rrhain
04-02-2012 2:41 AM


Catholic Scientist writes:
quote:
As you say:
as populations change and grow - as described statistically, stoichometrically - over long periods of time.
I don't think you can witness that happening, do you?
Yes.
Because we have.
Multiple times.
In the lab and in the wild.
On plenty of organisms.
Why would you have us deny that?
In the message you replied to, just before where you started quoting, I explained my reasoning:
quote:
Yup, and if they had a more proper image of macroevolution (like the one I linked to above from Biology Online), I still think there'd be a point that people haven't really witnessed macroevolution. As something that takes place over long periods of time, you can't point to it and say: "there, there it is, that's macroevolution". Now, I realize you might wanna count the arrival of a new species of bacteria as technically being macroevolution, and you could argue that we could point to that and witness it, but I don't really think that's what people are talking about. Its more about gross morphological change. Something that undeniably evolution in a loose sense.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Rrhain, posted 04-02-2012 2:41 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by Rrhain, posted 04-03-2012 9:17 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


(1)
Message 119 of 215 (658310)
04-03-2012 9:17 PM
Reply to: Message 118 by New Cat's Eye
04-02-2012 11:16 AM


Catholic Scientist responds to me:
quote:
In the message you replied to, just before where you started quoting, I explained my reasoning:
Yup, and if they had a more proper image of macroevolution (like the one I linked to above from Biology Online), I still think there'd be a point that people haven't really witnessed macroevolution.

But we have. Multiple times. In the lab and in the wild. On plenty of organisms. I've posted the references. Why would you have us deny that?
quote:
Now, I realize you might wanna count the arrival of a new species of bacteria as technically being macroevolution
What do you mean "technically"? It either is or it isn't.
And it is.
And we've seen it in much more complicated organisms than bacteria. We've seen reproductive isolation happen in fish in only 13 generations.
Why would you have us deny this?
quote:
but I don't really think that's what people are talking about.
That's because they're playing a game of moving the goalposts. It used to be that creationists insisted a "kind" was a species because they were absolutely certain that there was no way to get a new species.
And then we saw speciation.
So they moved up the taxonomic ladder to Genus.
And then we saw new genera appear right before our eyes.
So now they've moved the goalposts yet again so that the only thing they could possibly accept is an ostrich being hatched from an alligator egg. But no evolutionary biologist would ever claim such a thing is possible. In fact, if you saw such a thing, you'd have to throw a hell of a lot of what we know about biology out the window.
We have seen macroevolution. Not in a "technical" sense but in all its glory.
quote:
Its more about gross morphological change.
Yep, that, too.
The problem is that the creationists what to pick and choose what they mean by "gross morphological change." They want it to be something that the most casual observer can spot without any real examination, but that isn't a valid definition. Why can't this gross morphological change be something that requires a dissection to see? Well, because at that point they can simply not do their homework and say, "It looks the same to me!" as if that were sufficient. Look at the way they treat the fossil record: Truly massive morphological changes are called "deformed individuals" rather than separate species. There simply is no evidence they could possibly accept.
So why do we care what they think when they are just going to change the definition as soon as you provide the evidence they insist doesn't exist?
And on top of that, they want it happening in one step which again isn't evolution but is actually evidence for creation.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-02-2012 11:16 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-04-2012 10:53 AM Rrhain has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 120 of 215 (658350)
04-04-2012 10:53 AM
Reply to: Message 119 by Rrhain
04-03-2012 9:17 PM


quote:
In the message you replied to, just before where you started quoting, I explained my reasoning:
Yup, and if they had a more proper image of macroevolution (like the one I linked to above from Biology Online), I still think there'd be a point that people haven't really witnessed macroevolution. As something that takes place over long periods of time, you can't point to it and say: "there, there it is, that's macroevolution".

But we have. Multiple times. In the lab and in the wild. On plenty of organisms. I've posted the references. Why would you have us deny that?
You're not talking about the same thing I'm talking about: it takes place over periods of time that are too long to witness in the lab.
quote:
Now, I realize you might wanna count the arrival of a new species of bacteria as technically being macroevolution
What do you mean "technically"? It either is or it isn't.
There isn't only one definition of "macroevolution". Some people consider a speciation event to be it, some people consider reproductive isolation to be it, and others think it should be descibing events above the species level. I linked to the definition from Biology Online and their's seems to be even higher than that.
So, since the word "macroevolution" can be used to describe a speciation event, then its technically correct to say that a speciation event is macroevolution. But if other people are talking about how we haven't really witnessed things above the species level, then its beside the point to say that this here speciation event that we've witnessed counts. And its disingenuous to charge people with having you deny that it even happened when they're trying to tell you that they're talking about something else.
And then we saw new genera appear right before our eyes.
Which genera?
quote:
Its more about gross morphological change.
Yep, that, too.
What kind of gross morphological changes?
If you're not going to spend any time actually discussing the evidence other than providing a bare link, asserting it supports your position, and then telling people to go look it up themselves, then I'm not really going to see any point in continuing this conversation with you. I still think you're only interested in gainsaying. And stop being disingenuous.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by Rrhain, posted 04-03-2012 9:17 PM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Rrhain, posted 04-07-2012 6:07 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
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