Does evolutionary theory provide any useful scientific benefit?


#247

To describe something is not the same as defining it. This is an important distinction. To describe a mountain as beautiful, is not the same as explaining what it is.

Your three “definitions” are not the same. The first one is most accurate, even though not complete since it is leaving room for non-trucks such as trains or buses.

Your second definition is really poor since it could include trains, buses, wagons, bicycles, horse and buggy, tractor and wagon, …

The third definition is poor because it includes many non-trucks, such as cars, motorbikes, boats, trains, airplanes.

The difference between a definition and a description of certain aspects, is that a description might be legitimately incomplete, while a definition ought to capture the essence while excluding non-qualifying things. A definition is tested by what it includes or excludes.

So a parallel with a truncated definition of evolution is to define a truck as a set of wheels. While a truck certainly has a set of wheels, it cannot be defined as a set of wheels, because it is much more than that.


#248

I’ll state the obvious again:

@Johnz, there is no diplomatic way to say it. When you falsely pretend that nobody mentioned the benefits, you lose all credibility—because people can read and double-check what was posted. (Plus, we’ve had this discussion on other threads, where even more details about useful scientific benefits were posted.) You were much better off using the traditional evidence-denial tactic of saying, “Yes, those are benefits but they were achieved without any use of the Theory of Evolution.”

Your simplistic mantras like “All of the scientists who published the biology textbooks were FRAUDULENT when writing the definition of evolution” while claiming that you know better than the entire science academy sound just a wee bit…shall we say “over-reaching”? (I’m intentionally avoiding the most obvious descriptions of such.) Yet, you manufactured out of thin air the false claim that I had declared Andrew Snelling’s PhD “invalid” and that, therefore, you claimed that I was attacking his character. After you attacked the character of the entire science academy by calling them “fraudulent”, don’t you think most readers will notice the hypocrisy in your disproportionate complaints? (Of course, readers will also notice the dishonesty of the false attribution tactic of saying that I called Snelling’s PhD "invalid.)

If you want more specifics, why not investigate how various companies are using their understanding of evolutionary processes to produce energy-saving, light-producing plants? (Do you think people like me would have invested millions of dollars in these companies if it was all a lie?) Of course, several participants on these forums have explained to you that each year’s flu vaccines depend on an understanding of evolution—but your standard reply is to claim the scientists wrong because, despite your lack of training in the relevant fields of science, you know better. I call that hubris, the readers will make up their own minds about it. And some will definitely revisit the honesty issue. (You leave them little choice.)

So don’t complain that nobody has given you specifics—all while you continually dodge the questions posed to you. Most of all, if all of the scientists are wrong and your views are correct, Why aren’t oil exploration companies hiring “flood geologists” and Young Earth Creationist who have a better understanding of the history of the earth and how oil is formed?

Of course, to expect a scientific theory which explains changes in allele frequencies in populations over time to also explain, “How did the first biological life originate?” tells readers that you don’t understand the definition of lots of science terms, including a scientific theory. (Do you expect the Theory of Photosynthesis to explain not only the role of light in photosynthesis but also to explain how light is produced by the sun? I doubt that you are that consistent in your misunderstanding of what is scientific theory is all about.)

I must admit amazement, however, that you went ahead with the mind-numbing Scientists don’t want to include abiogenesis in the Theory of Evolution because they know they don’t have a good answer DESPITE my having lamented that silly but popular whopper immediately prior. That tells me that you feel obligated to stay “on script” no matter how embarrassing the argument in the immediate context of the discussion!

Meanwhile, I’m still interested in BenKirke’s question that you keep dodging: Does young earth creation theory provide any useful scientific benefit? Name last year’s most significant “creation science” discovery. Or the last decade’s greatest discovery. Or the last century.

Seeing how you consider “Does evolution theory provide any useful scientific benefit?” an important question (at least, important enough for you to post it and then include your own “No!” answer as the obvious purpose of your question), how do YOUR “theories” provide any useful scientific benefits?

Of course, if you agree that “creation science” and “young earth creation theory” and “ID theory” aren’t science at all, nobody need expect them to provide any useful scientific benefits—and readers have no reason to be surprised that no industries and products arise from them.


#249

It would be good to start another blog or question on this if you are interested. Don’t know how many replies you would get, but you never know. I asked my original question, because I was curious. Curious if a reasonable connection could be made between evolution theory and some indisputable benefit medically or physically. As compared to the tendency of evolutionary theory to make wrong predictions which when extended lead to harmful results rather than beneficial results.


#250

Yup, that’s my point.

[quote]Your second definition is really poor since it could include trains, buses, wagons, bicycles, horse and buggy, tractor and wagon, …

The third definition is poor because it includes many non-trucks, such as cars, motorbikes, boats, trains, airplanes.

The difference between a definition and a description of certain aspects, is that a description might be legitimately incomplete, while a definition ought to capture the essence while excluding non-qualifying things. A definition is tested by what it includes or excludes.

So a parallel with a truncated definition of evolution is to define a truck as a set of wheels. While a truck certainly has a set of wheels, it cannot be defined as a set of wheels, because it is much more than that.
[/quote]

And that’s exactly my point. The definition that refers to alleles is very precise. You’re complaining that there’s not enough description:


(Benjamin Kirk) #251

Hello fm,

Thanks, now I see what you mean. However, I would disagree somewhat and point out that changes in allele frequencies in populations over time explain physiological changes and trees just fine, it’s just ignoring causes and only looking at effects. So I guess that by “category difference” you mean cause vs effect?

JohnZ’s false accusation of fraudulent behavior is based on ignorance of the relevant facts totally independent of the mechanism by which they arose, such as the proportion of functional genetic differences between himself and a mouse that are merely allelic.

For instance, here’s a mouse vs human allele at the protein level (you may need to cut and paste this into a word processor and change to a fixed-width font such as Courier).

Query 1 MCDDEETTALVCDNGSGLVKAGFAGDDAPRAVFPSIVGRPRHQGVMVGMGQKDSYVGDEA 60
MCDDEETTALVCDNGSGLVKAGFAGDDAPRAVFPSIVGRPRHQGVMVGMGQKDSYVGDEA
Sbjct 1 MCDDEETTALVCDNGSGLVKAGFAGDDAPRAVFPSIVGRPRHQGVMVGMGQKDSYVGDEA 60

Query 61 QSKRGILTLKYPIEHGIITNWDDMEKIWHHTFYNELRVAPEEHPTLLTEAPLNPKANREK 120
QSKRGILTLKYPIEHGIITNWDDMEKIWHHTFYNELRVAPEEHPTLLTEAPLNPKANREK
Sbjct 61 QSKRGILTLKYPIEHGIITNWDDMEKIWHHTFYNELRVAPEEHPTLLTEAPLNPKANREK 120

Query 121 MTQIMFETFNVPAMYVAIQAVLSLYASGRTTGIVLDSGDGVTHNVPIYEGYALPHAIMRL 180
MTQIMFETFNVPAMYVAIQAVLSLYASGRTTGIVLDSGDGVTHNVPIYEGYALPHAIMRL
Sbjct 121 MTQIMFETFNVPAMYVAIQAVLSLYASGRTTGIVLDSGDGVTHNVPIYEGYALPHAIMRL 180

Query 181 DLAGRDLTDYLMKILTERGYSFVTTAEREIVRDIKEKLCYVALDFENEMATAASSSSLEK 240
DLAGRDLTDYLMKILTERGYSFVTTAEREIVRDIKEKLCYVALDFENEMATAASSSSLEK
Sbjct 181 DLAGRDLTDYLMKILTERGYSFVTTAEREIVRDIKEKLCYVALDFENEMATAASSSSLEK 240

Query 241 SYELPDGQVITIGNERFRCPETLFQPSFIGMESAGIHETTYNSIMKCDIDIRKDLYANNV 300
SYELPDGQVITIGNERFRCPETLFQPSFIGMESAGIHETTYNSIMKCDIDIRKDLYANNV
Sbjct 241 SYELPDGQVITIGNERFRCPETLFQPSFIGMESAGIHETTYNSIMKCDIDIRKDLYANNV 300

Query 301 LSGGTTMYPGIADRMQKEITALAPSTMKIKIIAPPERKYSVWIGGSILASLSTFQQMWIS 360
LSGGTTMYPGIADRMQKEITALAPSTMKIKIIAPPERKYSVWIGGSILASLSTFQQMWIS
Sbjct 301 LSGGTTMYPGIADRMQKEITALAPSTMKIKIIAPPERKYSVWIGGSILASLSTFQQMWIS 360

Query 361 KQEYDEAGPSIVHRKCF 377
KQEYDEAGPSIVHRKCF
Sbjct 361 KQEYDEAGPSIVHRKCF 377

And another:
Query 1 MGSFSIT-LGFFLVLAFWLPGHIGANPVYSAVSNTDLMDFKNLLDHLEEKMPVEDEVMPP 59
M SFS T + F L+LAF L G ANP+Y+AVSN DLMDFKNLLDHLEEKMP+EDEV+PP
Sbjct 1 MSSFSTTTVSFLLLLAFQLLGQTRANPMYNAVSNADLMDFKNLLDHLEEKMPLEDEVVPP 60

Query 60 QALSEQTEEAGAALSSLPEVPPWTGEVNPPLRDGSALGRSPWDPSDRSALLKSKLRALLA 119
Q LSE EEAGAALS LPEVPPWTGEV+P RDG ALGR PWD SDRSALLKSKLRALL
Sbjct 61 QVLSEPNEEAGAALSPLPEVPPWTGEVSPAQRDGGALGRGPWDSSDRSALLKSKLRALLT 120

Query 120 GPRSLRRSSCFGGRIDRIGAQSGLGCNSFRY 150
PRSLRRSSCFGGR+DRIGAQSGLGCNSFRY
Sbjct 121 APRSLRRSSCFGGRMDRIGAQSGLGCNSFRY 151

[quote=“fmiddel, post:246, topic:548”]
It’s not like one of those definitions is “wrong” because the other is “right.”
[/quote]Exactly. And JohnZ, despite making serious accusations of fraud, has no supporting evidence whatsoever as evidenced by his repeated refusal to apply his definition.


(Benjamin Kirk) #252

Hello John,

Reduce evolutionary theory?

No, we’re not referring to evolutionary theory, we’re referring to evolution itself–the phenomenon. Evolutionary theory is about the underlying mechanisms that cause evolution.

Your use of this equivocation suggests how little you understand. How could this possibly be sufficient foundation for you to accuse a large group of people of fraudulent professional behavior?


(Dcscccc) #253

what about unique mammals genes?


(Benjamin Kirk) #254

What about them? How about first answering the question for JohnZ?


(Dcscccc) #255

what is the question actually?


(Jon) #256

I sympathize.


(Jon) #257


(Benjamin Kirk) #258

What proportion of the functional genetic differences between you and a mouse are merely allelic?


(Dcscccc) #259

i think that most of them allelic.


#260

Why Mouse Matters
Overall, mice and humans share virtually the same set of genes. Almost every gene found in one species so far has been found in a closely related form in the other. Of the approximately 4,000 genes that have been studied, less than 10 are found in one species but not in the other.

Both the mouse and human genomes contain about 3.1 billion base pairs (or chemical letters). Only about 5 percent of the sequence consist of protein-coding regions (genes). More than 90 percent of the genome is non-coding DNA, sometimes called “junk” DNA, that has no known function. Because of the vast amount of non-coding DNA, it is very hard to recognize the genes simply by looking at one sequence alone; even the best of today’s computational programs fail to identify many coding sequences and misidentify others. It is similarly difficult to identify regulatory regions within DNA - the “switches” that turn gene expression on or off, up or down - as they exist only as poorly defined “consensus” sequences.

On average, the protein-coding regions of the mouse and human genomes are 85 percent identical; some genes are 99 percent identical while others are only 60 percent identical. These regions are evolutionarily conserved because they are required for function. In contrast, the non-coding regions are much less similar (only 50 percent or less). Therefore, when one compares the same DNA region from human and mouse, the functional elements clearly stand out because of their greater similarity. Scientists have developed computer software that automatically aligns human and mouse sequences making the protein-coding and regulatory regions obvious. (National Human Genome Research Institute)


#261

A Favorite Creation-Evolution Debate Memory

@Jonathan_Burke, your Top Ten Scientific Achievements of “Creation Science” reminds me of one of the funniest debate moments I ever witnessed. My “tag team” partner in a debate against a couple of anti-evolution Young Earth Creationists had a timed slide-projection system displaying over a hundred discoveries, achievements, and “useful scientific benefits” of the Theory of Evolution while he delivered his first rebuttal round. He followed it with a list of infamous “creation science” and YEC scandals, bloopers, and pseudo-science embarrassments. (Those were in reply to the customary canned speech from one of the YECs about the supposed horrors of the Piltdown Man Hoax nearly a century prior.)

So when it came time for the live Q&A cross-ex between the debaters, my partner asked his YEC opponent, “So, what ARE the top three scientific achievements of ‘creation science?’” Without even thinking beyond his tight script, the Young Earth Creationist proudly retorted, “Creationist scientists haven’t had much time for scientific discoveries because it is a full-time job just keeping evolutionist scientists honest! That would be our #1 greatest achievement and you should thank us for it.”

The crowd kind of went silent. It was as if nobody breathed. I guess it took some time for what was just said to sink in. Plus, the very smugness of his profound declaration served to underscore how this was a standard line the Young Earth Creationist had probably heard dozens of times at countless “creation weekend” conferences at churches and Bible conferences. He had likely never ever used that line in an auditorium (instead of a church) and where there were actual scientists present, not to mention hundreds of science-literate people. A few bursts of nervous laughter broke out in the audience, scattered here and there. But before each could die, another pocket of laughter took over. I could see people elbowing their neighbor and asking, “Did he just say what I thought he said??” Soon, the basic principles of chaos theory started to take over and organize the scattered bursts of reaction to where more and more audience members felt at liberty to laugh and keep laughing. Within a few seconds more, it was as if an audience “Laugh now!” sign had turned on followed by a general applause sign. Soon, there was just no restraint whatsoever. The YEC debater’s statement had been so confidently absurd—and so completely oblivious to the material just presented----that it was as if there was no way the debate was going to get back on track!

My debate partner looked over the top of the lectern microphone and gave a huge smile. Then he took some index cards he was holding, ripped them endwise, and tossed them into the air like they were confetti—and walked back to his table, giving up the remainder of his time on the clock. Then we both feigned putting our papers back into our briefcases, shook hands with each others, and pretended that we were leaving the auditorium. That brought yet another explosive wave of laughter.

No doubt, the Young Earth Creationist had heard various of his “creation science” heroes brag about keeping the “evolutionist scientists honest” and never dreamed it would provoke an entirely different reaction on a university campus.

I would give anything for a video of that debate.

That was probably thirty years ago. And now you know why any posting which solicits the top achievements of “creation science” from Young Earth Creationists always brings a smile to my face!


(Benjamin Kirk) #262

That’s nice, JohnZ. I see that you can copy and paste, but I don’t see that you understand the facts.

What’s the answer to my question? It’s highly relevant to discussing your completely unsupported claim that the standard definition of evolution is “fraudulent.”


(Benjamin Kirk) #263

Thanks. How about a bit more quantitative than “most”?


(Dcscccc) #264

i think more then 90%. why?


(Chris Falter) #265

What method did you use to arrive at the figure of “more than 90%,” dcs?


(Benjamin Kirk) #266

Then isn’t it accurate to define evolution most simply as the change in allele frequencies in a population over time?

Or is it “fraudulent,” as JohnZ claims?