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Author Topic:   Can we accelerate evolution?
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 312 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 59 of 77 (615419)
05-12-2011 9:37 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Alfred Maddenstein
05-12-2011 3:12 PM

That is a wrong question. The theory does not describe any directional process leading from point A to some definite point B. So there could not be any rates of motion applied in its description at all. There is nothing to accelerate towards anything as the process has no goal to reach in any motion at all, if the theory is correct.
Just because something has no goal doesn't mean that it has no direction or speed, nor that it can't be subject to acceleration. A feather on the breeze has no goal, but it can still go faster or slower in this or that direction. The same is true of the evolution of a lineage.
Evolution is very bad and misleading term.
Not to those of us who know what it means. I daresay it would mislead someone who doesn't know what it means, but the same could be said of any other word.
Those who pretend to defend the theory against...well..creationists..or whoever..are themselves labouring under a flattering delusion about what it all means.
I see that mind-reading is amongst the talents that you do not possess.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Alfred Maddenstein, posted 05-12-2011 3:12 PM Alfred Maddenstein has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Alfred Maddenstein, posted 05-12-2011 11:18 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 312 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 62 of 77 (615436)
05-13-2011 12:20 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Alfred Maddenstein
05-12-2011 11:18 PM

Ok then, give me an example of such direction. Say a feather was floating south for a minute, a gust of wind blew it north, then the wind changed and carried it south-east. What was the direction the wind was speeding it up in?
When the direction of the feather changed from south to north, it was accelerated in a northerly direction. When it then went southeast it was being accelerated southeast (feathers have a high area/mass ratio, so I'm discounting its momentum).
It seems unless you know where you want the feather to go, you can hardly talk about whether the feather was slowed down or sped up in any particular direction at any turn of the wind.
It is actually possible to determine the position, speed, and acceleration of objects without knowing where I want them to go. This is a shame, otherwise I should have a unique and lucrative job.
The word's definition is directional change. You think it's a good term for that? I don't know. Especially in the singular. When there are so many directions. Change and transformation of species might be better. Even in the title it says origins and not evolution. He used it sometimes but not overwhelmingly like it is used now.
I really don't see the problem. But if there is one, it's probably too late to change the English language now.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Alfred Maddenstein, posted 05-12-2011 11:18 PM Alfred Maddenstein has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Alfred Maddenstein, posted 05-13-2011 11:08 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 312 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 75 of 77 (630423)
08-25-2011 5:29 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by Tanus
08-25-2011 2:19 AM

I'd like to respond to the idea of eugenics and all forms of genetic engineering being a bad idea.
All forms of technology, whether fire or stone tools, have the capacity to both harm or help the user. There is no doubt that early attempts at improving the human race met with different sorts of failures and if we continue to try genetic manipulations we will have some pretty spectacular failures, but does that mean that we should give up fire because some people get burned? Should we give up cars because there are crashes? Should we stop speaking because people sometimes say stupid things?
Mistakes are the way we learn and they are the reason that we must keep trying until we learn how to do something.
But eugenics has a kind of special problem.
Back in the 1930s British eugenicists passed out pamphlets urging short-sighted people not to have children. Which is harmless, but will obviously have no effect.
Meanwhile Hitler was gearing up to murder or involuntarily sterilize people, which might be efficacious but has associated ethical difficulties which it is hard to deny.
Now, the problem is that it is very difficult to establish any eugenic program which is effective without also being coercive. If you have any ideas as to how to square this circle, please share them.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Tanus, posted 08-25-2011 2:19 AM Tanus has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Tanus, posted 08-25-2011 10:37 AM Dr Adequate has not replied

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