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


Message 103 of 215 (657279)
03-27-2012 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by crashfrog
03-27-2012 8:47 AM


Have you seen Mickey Mouse?
But Mickey Mouse is in fact, nothing more than a series of drawings. I have seen some of those drawings and that is all Mickey Mouse is. So yes, I've seen Mickey Mouse. I suppose we may also stipulate that Mickey Mouse has a certain voice, so when I hear a voice artist do the Mickey Mouse voice in the context of an officially sanctioned cartoon - I could claim to have 'heard Mickey Mouse'.
However, it would be misleading to say 'I have seen King Henry VIII', when all I have seen is a portrait or three of his. Since Henry VIII is more than just a series of portraits, I could only really say 'I've seen portraits of Henry VIII'.
Just as when I say 'I have seen HMS Belfast' I'm almost never referring to pictures of HMS Belfast. HMS Belfast is something more than a series of photographs.
Topicwise, I've not actually seen the populations of early primates evolving into a population of human beings, even though I have used my eyes to examine some of the evidence that this is in fact what happened.
Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by crashfrog, posted 03-27-2012 8:47 AM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by crashfrog, posted 03-27-2012 11:55 AM Modulous has replied

  
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

  
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

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


(2)
Message 131 of 215 (659309)
04-14-2012 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by Rrhain
04-07-2012 6:07 PM


No, it's not. How many times do you need to have the evidence put in front of you before you realize your error? We have seen macroevolution happen right in front of our eyes, multiple times, both in the lab and in the field.
When creationists say we have not witnessed macroevolution, they are not using the word 'macroevolution' in the sense that scientists typically do. What they mean by macroevolution when they use the word is quite different.
They are talking about something akin to witnessing a population of pakicetids become blue whales.
We should address what creationists mean when they say macroevolution rather than addressing what a scientist would mean if they said the same thing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Rrhain, posted 04-07-2012 6:07 PM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by angletracks, posted 04-24-2012 9:07 PM Modulous has replied
 Message 135 by Rrhain, posted 04-25-2012 2:04 AM Modulous has replied

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


(1)
Message 137 of 215 (660385)
04-25-2012 7:47 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by Rrhain
04-25-2012 2:04 AM


There are plenty of examples of speciation happening both in the lab and in the wild. Speciation, by definition, is macroevolution.
I don't dispute that. I am saying that macroevolution, when used by a creationist in the context of 'it hasn't been observed' does not mean 'speciation' in most cases.
No, we shouldn't. We don't let the people who don't know what they're talking about to define the terms.
I'm not suggesting we 'let' them define terms. What I am saying is that when addressing the meaning of someone's utterance, it is vital to establish what they mean when they say the words they use rather than trying to argue against what someone else more competent would mean with the same words.
Don't get me wrong: I agree with the sentiment that we should try and encourage correct word usage.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by Rrhain, posted 04-25-2012 2:04 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by Rrhain, posted 04-27-2012 9:08 PM Modulous has replied

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


Message 138 of 215 (660386)
04-25-2012 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 132 by angletracks
04-24-2012 9:07 PM


Re: What I See
If a process cannot be repeated, or measured in its singular occurrence, and if there is in fact no validated model to support it, can it be considered a fact?
I don't know what your 'validated model to support it' actually means. But if you can establish something as being true beyond all reasonable doubt...it can safely be called a fact even if it cannot be repeated or directly measured.
Is there a body of factual evidence that describes the transition from non-living to living material?
There is. Though we do not have a complete picture, and being able to establish the actual origins of life as a fact maybe impossible due to the absence of sufficient evidence. It might be though, maybe what evidence we have access to is sufficient.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by angletracks, posted 04-24-2012 9:07 PM angletracks has not replied

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


(1)
Message 158 of 215 (660573)
04-27-2012 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 154 by Chuck77
04-26-2012 7:35 PM


If macro-evolution went on trial who would the witnesses be that it indeed does happen?
We don't rely on witnesses. We instead would refer to the overwhelming DNA evidence: and all the other forms of evidence besides that.
To what extent I don't think is known exactly but the land to water, water to land mammal transition I believe is all speculation including a common ancestor for chimp and man.
I think it is faulty reasoning to suppose that we should have witnesses for an event that almost by definition, precedes the existence of witnesses.
I think that calling it 'speculation' because of the lack of witnesses is very unfair. Science is pretty much all about establishing facts and explanations with more reliability than witness reports.
Chimp and man there is to much seperation and it doesn't fit with the other groupings as neatly as the canine or feline classification.
How have you ascertained that the separation is 'too much'?
As far as I am aware the most distantly related cats are about as equally related to one another as chimps are to humans, in fact cats may be more diverse. I have a feeling you've come to this conclusion on a 'gut instinct' level and probably haven't done or seen any analysis that would lead to that conclusion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 154 by Chuck77, posted 04-26-2012 7:35 PM Chuck77 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 163 by Chuck77, posted 04-28-2012 4:32 AM Modulous has replied

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


Message 170 of 215 (660692)
04-28-2012 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by Chuck77
04-28-2012 4:32 AM


Yeah, I get that. And some interpret a common ancestor. We Creationists interpret a common designer. Not a random process that is non-intelligently non-directed.
Evoution is not non-directed. It's very much directed. By natural selection. It is definitely not a 'random process'.
Ok. So then macro-evolution cannot be witnessed the way the ToE describes then?
Actually, the mechanisms within ToE have been witnessed. What has not been witnessed is the change in populations which exceeds the existence of humans.
Establishing "facts" to fit the theory maybe. If you cannot provide examples of micro-evolution happening with evidence of witnesses then how is it factual? Or is it just assumed and speculated?
I can provide evidence of micro-evolution happening with witnesses, if you'd like. It is not assumed, and as I previously said calling it speculation is a highly unfair characterisation.
But my entire point was that something can be factual without there being witnesses.
Modulous, just go find a chimp that can write a book, fly to the moon, etc etc etc...
As I thought you have performed little to no analysis to establish your position and are going on nothing better than 'gut instinct'.
When was the last time you saw a domestic housecat work in a pack to kill a Wildebeest?
You think us and the chimps (other than genetics created by a common designer) are similiar in what way that you think we should be classified together?
We're both great apes, which implies many similarities both morphologically, behaviourally, and genetically.
Not really. I can witness how chimps act and how humans act. It's not a "gut instinct". It's reality. My conclusion is that chimps/apes should be classified seperatly than humans.
They are classified separately.
Your claim is that the various felines are more closely related to one another than Chimps and Humans are. That's what you need to provide evidence for. I know that humans and chimps are different, but are they more different from one another than lions and domestic cats as you claimed.
Other than the genetics why do you think chimps/apes and humans should be classified together?
Sure, they are physically very similar too.
Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by Chuck77, posted 04-28-2012 4:32 AM Chuck77 has not replied

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


Message 171 of 215 (660694)
04-28-2012 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 160 by Rrhain
04-27-2012 9:08 PM


Why are we beholden to people who don't understand what the term means?
I'm not suggesting we should be 'beholden' to anyone. I'm just saying we should address what a person means by what they say.
And since we know that they don't know what they're talking about, why should we kowtow to them?
To stress this again: I am not suggesting any kowtowing take place. I'm just saying that when a creationist says 'macroevolution has not been observed' you are definitely not addressing their concerns by pointing out observed instances of speciation.
Granted, what they mean may be incoherent or malleable, but we can still address them in a more meaningful manner than that.
To them, "macroevolution" functionally means "evolutionary processes that I don't think have ever been seen." That's not a definition. That's a defensive stance. It's an argument out of ignorance. After all, look at how the conversation goes. The original claim is that we've never seen a new species arise. We then show them that no, we have seen speciation such as in fruit flies. Their response is, "Yeah, but it's still a fly!"
I don't dispute that such things occur. There are good ways to address what they are saying without using the ploy of saying that 'technically speciation is macroevolution, so there'.
One can say, there is a certain degree of biological change that takes place out of sight of animals capable of writing. Therefore it was not witnessed. However, it did leave evidence behind that has been witnessed.
They don't get to be the arbiters of what "macroevolution" is. If they use it wrong, we will happily point it out, but we do not allow them to continue in their erroneous vein.
Personally, I find debating my opponents position is more rewarding than arguing about the semantics. By all means, point out that they are using technical language incorrectly. But then you should go about trying to understand what they are trying to argue, and then address that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 160 by Rrhain, posted 04-27-2012 9:08 PM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by Rrhain, posted 04-28-2012 3:23 PM Modulous has replied

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


Message 173 of 215 (660699)
04-28-2012 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by Rrhain
04-28-2012 3:23 PM


And when they're wrong? And when they change definitions in the middle of their argument?
Call them out on it, obviously.
Except we are. Take a look in this very thread! You do read the threads you post to, don't you?
I'm not responding to the thread, I'm responding to a particular position of yours. You said 'We have seen macroevolution happen right in front of our eyes'. We might have seen macroevolution technically, but we haven't seen what many creationists are meaning when they raise the objection.
Who said anything about "technically"? It's their own definition. Did you not read Chuck's post? He specifically points out that the "limit" of evolution is speciation.
If a creationist wants to claim that speciation does not occur, then of course we should correct them. I'm not saying that such creationists don't exist.
I'm just saying, that generally, when creationists say 'macroevolution' they are talking about a degree of change that occurs over periods of time that prohibit observation.
Then why would you ever debate with a creationist? That's all they have.
I disagree. And I swing the question back at you, if the argument is all word games, why bother participating? If we all agree on the pragmatics but we're bickering over correct terms I see no value in the debate at all.
ut then you should go about trying to understand what they are trying to argue, and then address that.
What makes you think that hasn't happened?
I'm not saying that hasn't happened. I am just responding to your position that we should just point at speciation, show that we have observed it, and that ends the discussion regarding whether what creationists are talking about has ever been observed. Sometimes it has, but not always.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Rrhain, posted 04-28-2012 3:23 PM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 174 by Rrhain, posted 04-29-2012 2:05 AM Modulous has replied

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


Message 193 of 215 (660781)
04-29-2012 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 174 by Rrhain
04-29-2012 2:05 AM


Can we please stop playing dumb. You're trying to play the argument from ignorance.
I'm not playing dumb, I'm just addressing a specific point you were making.
I point out a common tactic among the creationists, one which happens right in front of your face, and you stick your fingers in your ear and pretend it didn't happen.
I did no such thing you fibber. When you pointed out the 'common tactic' what I said was that we when they use a certain tactic we should 'Call them out on it, obviously.' and 'we should correct them'
No, not "technically." We saw precisely what it is that creationists claim has never happened: New species showing up.
Not technically, but technically? Really?
Some creationists deny new species showing up. But not all of them. Most creationists I have encountered have conceded new species show up...where species is the more modern definition. They obviously don't concede that species in the ancient understanding show up.
A poster on your own board just made that very claim.
This isn't my board, and I've never denied that there are people that make that claim. That's precisely why I said, "I'm not saying that such creationists don't exist."
And here you are pretending it didn't happen.
Why are you lying to me about what I said? Did you think I might not notice?
Claim something never happens and then when shown exactly what it was you insisted has never happened, pretend you were actually arguing something else.
Clearly, your pants are very much on fire as I have never claimed that it never happens. Further, I've been quite clear what point I was arguing.
You said:
quote:
No, it's not. How many times do you need to have the evidence put in front of you before you realize your error? We have seen macroevolution happen right in front of our eyes, multiple times, both in the lab and in the field.
I was arguing that while we've seen a certain degree of evolution in lab and in the field, there is a larger degree which we have not and indeed can not. It is to this level of evolution that creationists are often referring. I said:
quote:
They are talking about something akin to witnessing a population of pakicetids become blue whales.
I have been consistent with arguing this particular point.
No, they're not. Didn't you read this thread?
I have read many posts on this thread, yes. I've also been addressing creationists for seven years.
This is standard behaviour from you, Modulous: Ignore everything and play dumb.
And saying that I am playing dumb is so typical of you that it's quite boring.
And I swing the question back at you, if the argument is all word games, why bother participating?
Because it isn't.
It isn't what? A word game? But you did say that semantics was 'all they have'. Or are you saying it isn't worth participating? Are you now saying the disagreement is more than just semantics?
I am just responding to your position that we should just point at speciation
(*blink!*)
You did not just say that, did you?
"Just" point at speciation? "JUST"?
Try not to get your knickers in a twist Rrhain. It wasn't that crazy.
My point was merely that you think the issue that many creationists raise 'macroevolution has not been witnessed' is not resolved by merely pointing at speciation. It isn't resolved at all by pointing at speciation except in the cases where a creationist is denying that it happens.
Go back and read my posts. Where do you find anything where I have even hinted that we "just" point at speciation?
You did say that speciation is sufficient to demonstrate Macroevolution occurs and it was to this I was referring.
See, here you show you haven't actually read any of my posts. I want you to show me chapter and verse where I have implied let alone stated that this "ends the discussion."
You strongly imply that we have observed macroevolution. That we have indeed witnessed it. If that were true, that would 'end the discussion'.
quote:
Except that it has. We have seen speciation happen both in the lab and in the field. That's "macroevolution."
quote:
Because I'm talking about the latter. We have watched species create new species directly, seeing every single generation between the two. Reproductive isolation can be achieved in as few as 13 generations.
And so on. If we have in fact witnessed macroevolution, then this 'ends the discussion' over whether macroevolution was witnessed.
Edited by Modulous, : nothing significant

This message is a reply to:
 Message 174 by Rrhain, posted 04-29-2012 2:05 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 206 by Rrhain, posted 05-21-2012 2:11 AM Modulous has replied

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


(1)
Message 213 of 215 (664007)
05-28-2012 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 206 by Rrhain
05-21-2012 2:11 AM


No, I don't "imply." I state directly.
Fair enough, I didn't want to put words into your mouth so I settled for 'strongly implied', but if you want to upgrade that to 'explicitly stated' that's fine.
You did read the references, yes? All of them? There are at least five links I posted and each of them contains many independent references. Is there a reason why you're playing dumb?
I'm not disputing the content of the references, which even a casual examination of my posts would reveal.
I accept that we have observed macroevolution as science defines it.
And since you have read the references and know that we have indeed witnessed it, why are you still talking?
I think I've been quite clear. What is at stake here is not whether we have observed macroevolution as science defines it, but whether we have observed 'macroevolution' a somewhat nebulous term that creationists use to indicate a certain degree of change that we have not or cannot observe but which 'evolutionists' claim has occurred.
Can we please stop playing dumb?
Alternatively, you've misunderstood what I am saying and your expectations of the discussion have led you to erroneously conclude I'm playing dumb.
Simply, we have not observed macroevolution in the sense that the creationists use the term; or at least some creationists, probably many of them, and not consistently. Really, all I'm saying is that some creationists are right when they say words that mean 'there is a degree of change that evolutionists claim has occurred which has not been directly witnessed' even if they do so using technically incorrect terminology to get that meaning across such as 'macroevolution has not been observed'.
When a creationist comes and says the latter we should consider what they mean and maybe address the former. We could make it into a semantic argument and say 'The words you said are technically untrue as we have observed macroevolution'. I prefer to address the pragmatics, the intended meaning of sentences, rather than semantics.
To do otherwise is to muddy up the waters of discussion so that they become frustrating to both parties. If in doubt, you can always ask 'what do you mean by 'macroevolution'. You should probably keep in mind that a creationist is likely to have less formal education, and so their answer might be a bit wonky. They may say 'the creation of new body parts and limbs such as wings etc', one should take from that they mean the earlier statement of 'a certain degree of change has not been observed', and address their concerns thusly.
I might argue something like:
quote:
The formation of limbs, for example, necessarily occurred before we could witness it, as we have limbs. Is there a reason you insist that something must be observed before it can be said to be true? What implications does this have for our legal system? History? Astronomy? Religion?
There is much evolution that we have observed. Macroevolution as scientists define it has been observed. However, evidence can still exist that supports events that occur in natural history, before humans could record it, or happening so slowly that no one human acting alone could observe it.
etc
Which I think is a superior way to progress a debate over 'but actually we have observed macroevolution {links to sources}'. Your responses so far haven't completely illuminated me as to your position on this. I am not sure how you've managed to get the wrong end of the stick, but I hope this longer explanation serves to correct your misapprehensions.
Last time I checked, calling someone a "liar" on this board is sufficient to get banned. Are you going to take the appropriate action or are you going to do as you always do and abuse your position as a moderator?
It can be sufficient, but it is not a necessary conclusion. YMMV. Being as I'm the offender, I suggest you post your concerns to the appropriate thread, you know which one, so that a more independent moderator can take a look and see if action is required.
Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 206 by Rrhain, posted 05-21-2012 2:11 AM Rrhain has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by ookuay, posted 08-01-2012 1:12 AM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
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