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Author Topic:   Dogs will be Dogs will be ???
Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 277 of 331 (654017)
02-26-2012 5:08 AM
Reply to: Message 273 by Chuck77
02-26-2012 3:53 AM

Re: Bump for Chuck77 and Panda
Would it be ok then to say I don't believe the fox can evolve "into" a cat then?
Uh, excuse me, but huh???? And please do excuse me for not having inserted an infinitely greater number of question marks, which would have been much more appropriate.
To start with, do you honestly think that evolution says that a fox should evolve into a cat? No, seriously! Is that what you think? Because I think that we have been involved in this kind of discussion before. Because I definitely know that I've been involved in discussions of nested hierarchies, AKA "kinds producing within their own kinds".
According to the Wikipedia articles of Carnivora:
Suborder Feliformia ("cat-like")
Superfamily Feloidea
Family Felidae: cats; 40 species in 14 genera
Suborder Caniformia ("dog-like")
Family Canidae: dogs and allies; 37 species in 10 genera
Tribe Canini -- True dogs
Tribe Vulpini -- True foxes
Infraorder Arctoidea
Superfamily Ursoidea
Family Ursidae: bears; 8 species in 5 genera
Superfamily Musteloidea
Family Ailuridae: red panda; 1 species in 1 genus.
Family Mephitidae: skunks and stink badgers; 10 species in 4 genera
Family Mustelidae: weasels, martens, badgers, wolverines, minks, ferrets, and
otters; 55 species in 24 genera
Family Procyonidae: raccoons and allies; 19 species in 6 genera
Superfamily Pinnipedia
Family Odobenidae: walrus; 1 species in 1 genus
Family Otariidae: sea lions, eared seals, fur seals; 14 species in 7 genera
Family Phocidae: true seals; 19 species in 9 genera

Foxes will reproduce after their own kind, id est (i.e.) ORDER CARNIVORA, Suborder Caniformia, Tribe Vulpini. And not ORDER CARNIVORA, Suborder Feliformia, Superfamily Feloidea, Family Felidae. Whatever would have possessed you (and I do know that fundamentalist Christians do take demonic possession seriously (even when it turns out to be totally comical, but then they would not be fundamentalist Christians)) to imagine that evolution would allow for a fox to give birth to a cat?
In other words, Chuck77, are you serious? You wanted to work on a creationist model. OK, in order to work that out, you will need to work out everything. What is evolution? What does evolution teach and claim? How does that work? Does evolution really say that a fox should give birth to a cat? Or does it in reality say that that should not happen? Of course, creationists are ever ready to make all kinds of outrageous claims, but upon actual examination what does evolution actually predict?
Edited by dwise1, : Multiple Wikipedia articles, as I had to drill down into ever greater detail.
Edited by Admin, : Reduce message width.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by Chuck77, posted 02-26-2012 3:53 AM Chuck77 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 279 by Chuck77, posted 02-26-2012 5:16 AM dwise1 has replied

Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 282 of 331 (654024)
02-26-2012 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 279 by Chuck77
02-26-2012 5:16 AM

Re: Bump for Chuck77 and Panda
I'm sorry, but you have no idea about nested hierarchies? Huh? Sorry, but that truly and completely boggles the normal's mind.
Do you really feel that threatend by my complete and utter lack of knowledge on evolution and the taxonomic catagories?
Com'on, are you kidding?
Creationists are banking on the public's and decision-makers' ignorance of evolution and everything associated with evolution, including taxonomic categories. Since creationists are outright lying about those things, how could you possibly question any of our objections to the outright lies that creationists are spreading?
Uh, you make some statements about evolution and taxonomic catetgories that are complete bullshit (which is what you did categorize them as being as you referred to your "complete and utter lack of knowledge on evolution and the taxonomic catagories")
OK, try wrapping your head around this. You have a fox. What might that fox ever give birth to? Uh... Duh... Duh... Duh... a fox? Duh??? I'm sorry, but didn't I provide enough question marks? Should we ever for any reason whatsoever, whatsoever, whatsoever, whatsover expect that fox to have given birth to a cat? What the frickin' frackin' frackin' fraKKK!!!???
IOW, what you expect is complete and utter nonsense. Which, as far as I can possibly tell, says that what you expect is complete and utter nonsense.
Edited by Admin, : Trim multiple character sequences down to 3.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 279 by Chuck77, posted 02-26-2012 5:16 AM Chuck77 has not replied

Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 320 of 331 (656089)
03-16-2012 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 314 by Chuck77
03-15-2012 5:23 AM

Perhaps an analogy from software engineering would help.
I'm currently working on a GUI that communicates with via telnet with our equipment. Basically, it presents a Windows application view for the user to monitor the equipment status and send configuration commands to the equipment. Actual communication with the equipment is through a not-very-human-readable command protocol for which the GUI acts as an interpreter for the user.
Actually, we have three systems that we're doing this for and hence three different GUIs, with the third system being new and its GUI currently being developed. The approach we're taking on this third GUI is analogous to what evolution does: take what's already there and modify it to a different use. That is an approach that engineers frequently use: take something that already works elsewhere and modify it for this new application.
A second engineering approach to parts of a new design is not at all like what evolution does: we take an entire module or sub-system for an entirely different design and plop it into the new design, redoing its interface with the rest of the system as needed.
OK, since the third system is very similar to the second, I took the second's GUI as my baseline and started modifying it. There were also some new plug-in cards in the system, so I made copies of the code modules that handled the old cards and modified them for the new cards -- analogous to evolution taking copies of genes and modifying them to make new proteins. And the over-all layout of the equipment is similar to but different from the layout of the second system, so I modified that -- analogous to evolution taking an existing structure and modifying it.
But the third system uses GPS, which the second doesn't but which the first, much simpler, system does. So I took the code modules from that first system's GUI and copied them whole into the new GUI, adding some "glue code" to connect it to the rest of the program. This is not at all like something that evolution would be able to do. This is an example of a designer being able to and motivated to add something that evolution could not account for. BTW, when I had to upgrade the first GUI to handle a new firmware version in the equipment, I solved most of that problem by lifting entire sections of code from the second GUI and transplanting them into the first GUI; the arbitrary non-evolutionary transfer of code travels in both directions.
Many years ago, I once mused over a new science: software archaeology. As you compare the code in different related programs, you can see where code had been copied and modified to new uses. Indeed, there is such a science, but it's computer forensics and is used in finding evidence of patent and copyright infringement. But the point is that in comparing the code of different programs or even examining the code of a single program, you can detect where code was copied and modified (the evolutionary approach) and where code was just simply inserted whole (the ex-nihilo approach).
So, a Designer should be able to put a Design together any way He wants to, including lifting a perfectly good design for something that He had done elsewhere (eg, wings, obtaining oxygen while living underwater as whales must) and reusing that design over and over again. But evolution is far more constrained and can only work with what is inherited from previous generations and hence has to repeatedly reinvent "common features" (eg, wings, obtaining oxygen while living underwater as whales must) by modifying what is already there.
And again, by examining the Design, we can see whether an evolutionary approach was taken or an arbitrary "ex nihilo" approach. Overwhelmingly, we see evidence of an evolutionary approach. "Common features" such as wings may at first appear to be the same design reused, but when you examine them more closely you find that a bird's wings are different than a bat's, that they use different bones, and as you examine and compare bird and bat genomes you should see that the genes for those wings are different and that should also become apparent when you compare the embryonic development of the wings -- a Designer reusing a common design should have done it with the same genes or very much the same.
Of course, evidence that an evolutionary approach was taken does not preclude a Designer, just a Designer who was free to act arbitrarily and to reuse the same common designs over and over again. The Designer could just as well have constrained Himself to use an evolutionary approach, to have created Nature and then to use Nature to do the rest of the work; as Genesis says, God commanded the waters and the land to bring forth life (Gen. 1:20,24).
Compare topiaries with banzai trees. A topiary is a shrub that's been trimmed into a specific shape, such as that of an animal. There are artful ways to do it, I'm sure, but normally they just hack it into that shape. But a banzai grower patiently trims and influences his creation's growth in the directions that he wants, using and bending Nature to his will. Your Designer as a topiary hacker is far less impressive and praiseworthy than your Designer as a banzai grower.
Recommended reading: The Blind Watchmaker, Chapter Three, "Accumulating Small Changes", by Richard Dawkins.
The main reason for that recommendation is the model he presents there for how evolution works. It's the same as is used in genetic algorithms, a powerful engineering approach that directly uses evolutionary processes:
1. Initialization. Start with an initial population of solutions.
2. Selection. Apply a "fitness function" to select a set of the best (ie, most fit) solutions in that population to produce the next generation of solutions.
3. Reproduction. Use the selection solutions to generate the next generation of solutions, using various techniques to increase variability (eg, cross-over, mutation).
4. Termination. If one of the solutions meets the required criteria, then stop. If not, then go back to Step 2 and repeat.
In life, there are a few more steps and another complication. From basic biology and genetics, your genetic code is called your genotype while your physical characteristics is called your phenotype. You inherit your genotype and it is the genotype that is subject to increased variation through genetic recombination and mutation; indeed, the only form of mutation that means anything in evolution is genetic. But selection does not act on the genotype, but rather acts on the phenotype. And the phenotype is created by the genotype through the process of embryonic development.
It is in Dawkins' discussion of his BIOMORPH program that he goes through the links between genotype, phenotype, and development.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 314 by Chuck77, posted 03-15-2012 5:23 AM Chuck77 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 322 by Chuck77, posted 03-16-2012 4:14 PM dwise1 has replied

Posts: 5987
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0

Message 325 of 331 (656152)
03-16-2012 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 322 by Chuck77
03-16-2012 4:14 PM

No, no insult. I make that recommendation in earnest. You were deserving of insults when you were wallowing in your ignorance, but now you are trying to learn to and figure things out and that deserves to be encouraged and aided.
And I already gave you my reason for recommending that particular chapter in that particular book: the genotype-phenotype duality and the role of development in giving the genotype expression in the phenotype. Part of what he illustrates in BIOMORPHS is that the amount of change in the phenotype does not normally match the amount of change in the genotype; ie, a small change in the genotype can cause a large change in the phenotype and yet a large change in the genotype can be hardly noticable in the phenotype. It depends on exactly where and what the change is.
Referring to other sources now ...
For example, in the class notes for their two-model class at the State University at San Diego (until protests from the campus Christian clubs got too loud for the administration), Thwaites and Awbrey addressed the old standard creationist "probability of a protein with a highly exact amino acid sequence forming by chance" claim by pointing out that only a few sites in a protein require specific amino acids, whereas others will accept any of a particular type of amino acid and most sites will accept any amino acid. And indeed, we can compare the amino acid sequences of the same protein in a wide variety of organisms and we will find wide variance in those sequences; comparison of those amino acid sequences support the relationships between species that evolution would have us expect, bogus creationist claims to the contrary notwithstanding.
In one of his books, Evolutionary Genetics (a textbook on the mathematics of population genetics), evolutionary biologist and geneticist John Maynard Smith pointed out that the only mutations that matter in evolution are genetic mutations in the germ cells (ie, in sperm and eggs rather than in the body's cells), because a change has to be heritable in order for evolution to use it. Furthermore, he listed the only four such mutations that there are, which (from memory) include base substitutions, base insertions and deletions, copying of sequences (resulting in multiple alleles). The Wikipedia article on mutation covers this far better than I could:
And, back to The Blind Watchmaker, the first part of Chapter Three discusses his WEASEL experiment and the difference between single-step selection (which all creationist probability claims I've encountered depend on) and evolution's cumulative selection, an understanding of which is very useful when evaluating creationist probability claims. Since I could not believe his WEASEL's performance, I wrote my own which I called MONKEY and which I posted on-line along with my analysis of the mathematics of the probabilities involved -- see
Science populizing books such as The Blind Watchmaker can be useful to read in order to learn and understand the ideas that you're trying to learn about, so it should come as no surprise that they would be recommended. I have not read his The God Delusion, which I assume is about atheism and criticism of religion rather than about evolution, so I would not think of recommending it for the purpose of helping you learn something about science in general and evolution in particular. Why would you assume otherwise?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 322 by Chuck77, posted 03-16-2012 4:14 PM Chuck77 has not replied

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