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Firing line debate

These are my research notes about issues that must be addressed as time allows


Malthus Edit

http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/browse_frm/thread/f8406f2be34fb308/73219e1f6a0056fd#73219e1f6a0056fd

On Dec 11, 1:54 pm, "Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-orig...@moderators.isc.org" > Species do the measuring of favourable adaptation themselves; if they > survive and reproduce, they're favoured.

By this logic anything that exists if favored for being in existence, which is what Darwin's logic reduces to.

IN the context that Darwin used favourable and preserved; these dissimilar terms self-referentially refer to the same fact, saying the same thing twice, making his conclusion(new species) a non-sequitur.

Lets elaborate on his tautology with other examples using the same terms: Favorable copper atoms were preserved or copper were favorable for preservation. But everything in existence is favorable for being preserved: this says that the same thing twice. We can reduce DArwin's tautology to a truism:

1) Species are preserved and therefore new species will arise.

There is no need to say that favorable species are preserved, the fact that they are preserved implies they were favorable. He then associated this tautological bafoonism with Patrick Matthew's 'natural means of competitive selection' , contracting it to 'natural selection' in order to avoid crediting Matthew.

The last 150 years everybody have been formulating *meaningless sentences* because they did't use 'natural selection' as the metaphor for Matthew's 'natural means of competitive selection', they had no idea what they were saying.


http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/browse_frm/thread/f8406f2be34fb308/0fec01be77523654#0fec01be77523654

On Dec 11, 5:34 pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:

  • > On Sun, 11 Dec 2011 07:53:06 -0800 (PST), the following
  • > appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
  • > <stephan...@gmail.com>:
  • >
  • > >On Dec 11, 1:54 pm, "Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-
  • > >orig...@moderators.isc.org" > Species do the measuring of favourable
  • > >adaptation themselves; if they
  • > >> survive and reproduce, they're favoured.
  • > >By this logic anything that exists if favored for being in existence,
  • >
  • > Not quite: Any species which exists is comprised of
  • > individuals whose ancestors were survivors of a selection
  • > process performed by the environment. You'll note that this
  • > reverses the cause/effect of your statement.
  • >
  • > >which is what Darwin's logic reduces to.
  • >
  • > Since Darwin's forte was primarily observation, and his
  • > conclusions were based on that observation, how does your
  • > evaluation of his logic enter the question?
  • >
  • > <snip additional errors>
  • > --
  • >
  • > Bob C.
  • >


Rephrase, replacing selection with Erasmus Darwin's cultivation as in Artificial cultivation from his book Zoonomia. Darwin lifted AC and changed it to AS and Patrick Matthew restated Buffon, Lamarck and Erasmus as shown by http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Samuel_Butler:

Rephrase: {C}Any species which exists is comprised of individuals whose ancestors were survivors of a CULTIVATION process performed by the environment.

Rephrase again in terms of Patrick Matthew:

Species are comprised of individuals whose ancestors were survivors of a CULTIVATION process performed by the environment.

Reduce again: {C}Species consist of individuals who survived the CULTIVATION process performed by the environment.

Finally: {C}Species consist of those who survived the 'competitive means of natural cultivation' by the environment.

Possible interpretation: {C}New species who's ancestors didn't possess the present attributes were constituted with new attributes {C}by surviving the 'competitive means of natural cultivation' by the environment'.

Further interpretation: Anything that exists obtained attributes that weren't previously there by out-competing the other {C}within a competitive cultivating environment'.

Which Reduces to Democritus Atomism or what Henry Fairfield Osborn referred to as the 'Doctrine of Atoms' - http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/HenryFairfieldOsborn in his book: From the Greeks to Darwin.

Democritus believed that atoms existed for eternity , thus he didn't have to explain where they came from in the first place. The present atoms obtained attributes they did not previously posses via the 'natural means of competitive selection,cultivation or survival', while the atoms they competed against didn't obtain the attributes and were thus eliminated.

Problem with this story is that it is http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Popper unfalsifiable, because we would be told the same thing if the other atom came to dominate its atomic ecological niche.


On Dec 13, 6:40 pm, Kermit <unrestrained_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> When Darwin used the phrase "survival of the fittest" (which he did
> not come up with) It was shorthand for saying that those organisms
> which are best suited for an environment are mostly likely to have
> offspring, and their characteristics will therefore spread throughout
> the gene pool.

It was Wallace that suggested that NS be used as a metaphor for SoF. In another context ns can be used as a metaphor for Preferential decision - http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Preferential_decision

See http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/TauTology for the Wallace issue. The last 150 years NS wasn't used as a metaphor for anything by various authors , thus they formulated http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Meaningless_sentence

"Best suited" and "most likely to have offspring" self-referentially refers to the same fact, saying the same thing twice using dissimilar terms, meaning that any conclusion is a non-sequitur.

> If conditions favor those characteristics for a
> prolonged period, then profound differences will accumulate in that
> species.

Which is an indisputable proposition and thus not a theory. A theory can in principle be disputed. We are only after theories, not unfalsifiable facts or propositions.


On Dec 12, 10:00 pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:
> On Sun, 11 Dec 2011 10:00:47 -0800 (PST), the following
> appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
> <stephan...@gmail.com>:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >On Dec 11, 5:34 pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:
> >> On Sun, 11 Dec 2011 07:53:06 -0800 (PST), the following
> >> appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
> >> <stephan...@gmail.com>:
>
> >> >On Dec 11, 1:54 pm, "Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-
> >> >orig...@moderators.isc.org" > Species do the measuring of favourable
> >> >adaptation themselves; if they
> >> >> survive and reproduce, they're favoured.
> >> >By this logic anything that exists if favored for being in existence,
>
> >> Not quite: Any species which exists is comprised of
> >> individuals whose ancestors were survivors of a selection
> >> process performed by the environment. You'll note that this
> >> reverses the cause/effect of your statement.
>
> >> >which is what Darwin's logic reduces to.
>
> >> Since Darwin's forte was primarily observation, and his
> >> conclusions were based on that observation, how does your
> >> evaluation of his logic enter the question?
> >Rephrase, replacing selection with Erasmus Darwin's cultivation as in
> >Artificial cultivation from his book Zoonomia. Darwin lifted AC and
> >changed it to AS and Patrick Matthew restated Buffon, Lamarck and
> >Erasmus as shown byhttp://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Samuel_Butler:
>
> >Rephrase:
> >Any species which exists is comprised of individuals whose ancestors
> >were survivors of a CULTIVATION process performed by the
> >environment.
>
> >Rephrase again in terms of Patrick Matthew:
>
> >Species are comprised of individuals whose ancestors were survivors of
> >a CULTIVATION process performed by the environment.
>
> >Reduce again:
> >Species consist of individuals who survived the CULTIVATION process
> >performed by the environment.
>
> >Finally:
> >Species consist of those who survived the 'competitive means of
> >natural cultivation' by the environment.
>
> >Possible interpretation:
> >New species who's ancestors didn't possess the present attributes were
> >constituted with new attributes
> >by surviving the 'competitive means of natural cultivation' by the
> >environment'.
>
> >Further interpretation:
> >Anything that exists obtained attributes that weren't previously there
> >by out-competing the other
> >within a competitive cultivating environment'.
>
> OK so far, although the term "cultivation" has connotations
> of intent not justified by the lack of intent in the
> process. So your rephrase and interpretation adds no
> clarity; in fact, it reduces it.
>
> >Which Reduces to Democritus Atomism or what Henry Fairfield Osborn
> >referred to as the 'Doctrine of Atoms' -http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/HenryFairfieldOsborn
> >in his book: From the Greeks to Darwin.
>
> >Democritus believed that atoms existed for eternity , thus he didn't
> >have to explain where they came from in the first place. The present
> >atoms obtained attributes they did not previously posses via the
> >'natural means of competitive selection,cultivation or survival',
> >while the atoms they competed against didn't obtain the attributes and
> >were thus eliminated.
>
> Oops; no, it doesn't. Atoms are unchangeable (except through
> processes which are predictable regarding the change itself
> and the pathway). There is no "evolution" of atoms in the
> sense of biological evolution.
>
> >Problem with this story is that it ishttp://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Popper
> >unfalsifiable, because we would be told the same thing if the other
> >atom came to dominate its atomic ecological niche.
>
> You seem to think that since *some* descendants will replace
> the original population (assuming the species doesn't go
> extinct with no descendant species) this is somehow a
> problem for evolution. It's not, since evolution only
> predicts that in general a population will comprise those
> descendants whose ancestors were best adapted to the
> environment in which they lived.
>
> But since your analogy (atoms vs living things) is incorrect
> you have no point.
> --
>
> Bob C.
>
> "Evidence confirming an observation is
> evidence that the observation is wrong."
> - McNameless

In pigeons we can *select* or *cultivate* as in Erasmus Darwin's Artificial Cultivation for chars. we desire. Wild pigeons and AC pigeons both implemented gyro, IMU control algorithms and compensate for their magnetometer delay using some type of feed-forward control. In magnetometers used on UAV's the delay is 0.08seconds between readings, which given the speed a uav travels at leads to orientation errors and thus feed-forward control is used to compensate .

The uav isn't adapted or adapting to anything, it only expresses its attributes. Wild pigeons surviving natures 'natural competitive selection,survival,accumulation or cultivation' process as well as pigeons bred in captivity for certain attributes still do only one thing: express pre-existing control algorithm attributes that their ancestors possessed.

At no point in time were the present attributes acquired, they were there hidden in the genome. Feed-forward control , PID or what pigeons use Neural network control were present in both the artificially cultivated(selected) and *naturally selected,preserved* pigeons.

Control engineers inform us that control theory involves an indissoluble association between mathematical constructs. This control algorithm was passed from pigeon to pigeon in an Behe IC or D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson 'composite integrity' manner. The algorithm was 'there' somewhere 'waiting' for the chick to grow and finally stabilize itself in flight.

Where exactly was this algorithm stored and how did this algorithm get transferred from the blob of amino acids that formed the egg? The algorithm was stored in the mind of Jesus Christ it has no physical location.


  • On Dec 15, 1:28 am, j...@wilkins.id.au (John S. Wilkins) wrote:
  • > Burkhard wrote:
  • > > On Dec 13, 8:27 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
  • > > > Again, we find the same forms, or forms which (save for external
  • > > > ornament) are mathematically identical, repeating themselves in all
  • > > > periods of the world's geological history ; and, irrespective of
  • > > > climate or local conditions, we see them mixed up, one with another,
  • > > > in the depths and on the shores of every sea. It is hard indeed (to my
  • > > > mind) to see where Natural Selection necessarily enters in, or to
  • > > > admit that it has had any share whatsoever in the production of these
  • > > > varied conformations. Unless indeed we use the term Natural Selection
  • > > > in a sense so wide as to deprive it of any purely biological
  • > > > significance; and so recognize as a sort of Natural Selection
  • > > > whatsoever nexus of causes suffices to differentiate between the
  • > > > likely and the unlikely, the scarce and the frequent, the easy and the
  • > > > hard : and leads accordingly, under the peculiar conditions,
  • > > > limitations and restraints which we call "ordinary circumstances," one
  • > > > type of crystal, one form of cloud, one chemical compound, to be of
  • > > > frequent occurrence and another to be rare. -
  • >
  • > > > By D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson
  • > > >-http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/D%27Arcy_Wentworth_Thompson
  • >
  • > > > I don't understand the passage quoted from Thompson, would somebody
  • > > > explain it to me please.
  • >
  • > > I don't know which part you find difficult, but essentially,
  • > > Thompson's argument was that the laws of physics constraint the
  • > > possible range of biological forms more massively than (he thought)
  • > > biological theories of evolution give credit for. The evidence he
  • > > gives for this are structural similarities that we find across animate
  • > > and inanimate nature, and across time and space.
  • >
  • > The laws of physics or the laws of form? D'Arcy Thompson (his surname is
  • > two-barrelled but unhyphenated) was an Aristotelian, and held that the
  • > laws of geometry constrain and occasionally generate evolutionary
  • > novelty. He spurred a research program on allometry in development, but
  • > to this day I fail to see how it is somehow extra or in opposition to
  • > natural selection. This is because I am dumb.

The Geometry of a pigeon represents an abstract mathematical algorithm , in the same way that the Feed-Forward control of the IMU in the pigeon's head allowing it to orient itself is separate from the carbon the pigeon is made off.

Feed-forward control can be represented using a cluster of copper,silicon atoms as in a Japanese walking robot or it can be represented using carbon 'meat'. The matter representing the algorithm doesn't constitute the algorithm.

D'arcy Thompson didn't know this of course but if you read the passage closely, that I quoted; he had a glimpse of http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Popper falsifiability

........Unless indeed we use the term Natural Selection in a sense so wide as to deprive it of any purely biological significance;.....

The man was clearly a genius, he pre-empted Popper by realizing that a theory that explains everything explains nothing.

But like the Wikipedia NS article he begged the question in his book that I quoted from, because he never defined NS, unless somebody can show me the passage and then I will correct this post.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection ........Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution.............

This passage from wikipedia begs the question, meaning that the premise isn't being stated. Either the premise is that ns is the metaphor for a full sentence or it isn't: this must be clearly indicated, which it isn't. Things whether biological or otherwise always become more or less common, this is a truism.

Gas molecules become more or less common with such behavior described by falsifiable physics equations. Thus in a sense as Berlinski wrote ns functions as some sort of universal mechanism, making it just as implausible as single differential equation explaining all of physics. But he also begged the question, because he never defines the full sentence that NS is the metaphor for.

The crux of the matter isn't what does NS mean, but what do you mean. Whatever you mean must be formulated in a full sentence that doesn't contain the word-couplet 'natural selection'. After this sentence is defined, then only can we refer to this sentence using 'natural selection'.


D'Arcy description of Composite Integrity is clear , that if we had changed the names , toned down the flowery grammar and presented it to PZ Myers he would have trashed it as a YEC screed. After taking the bait and on revealing it was actually D'Arcy Thompson whom PZ Myers thinks very highly of , one only wonders how he would then retract.

In anycase here is D'Arcy on Composite Integrity, IC or Irreducible Functionality: http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Composite_Integrity


On Dec 15, 6:14 am, John Harshman <jharsh...@pacbell.net> wrote: > Ray Martinez wrote: >  >JH wrote: > >> You seem to have invested common descent with all manner of mystical > >> connotations. It just refers to their being ancestors and descendants. > >> Do you have ancestors? One may hope you don't have descendants. > > > CD is one of three main claims made by Darwinism: it says all species > > have descended from one progenitor or common ancestor. This is a claim > > that says species are connected in continuity having originated from > > previously living species (through evolution). Your explanation above > > is ad hoc. > > This is the maximum claim of common descent, one that Darwin in fact > didn't make ("breathed into one form or a few"). There are degrees of > common descent, like I said. One slight degree is descent within > species. Do you accept that? Tony doesn't accept common descent by your > definition -- he doesn't think all life has one common ancestor -- so > your criticism of him seems mistaken, unless you want to revise that > definition.


Your premise is that Pigeons were a species that acquired attributes that weren't in the previous generations. How did pigeons acquire their IMU control algorithms gradually if at present they can only survive if this algorithm which is symbolically represented with small bones in their nose operate in what D'Arcy Thompson would have called a Composite Integrity manner?

This is of course the argument from Behe's IC or what I term http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Irreducible_Functionality

The entire write-up there is an interpretation of D'Arcy. Possible problem with this though is that I am not the brightest YEC and have great difficulty in understanding some passages by Thompson and am thus open to correct any errors in the article.


Darwin's concept with ns Edit

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.talk.creationism/browse_frm/thread/8a0c2351ecff92b2/e092b0248ca5a34e?q=tautology+selection#e092b0248ca5a34e





uncommon descent Edit

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/human-consciousness/ mind stuff

http://www.uncommondescent.com/science/darwin-vs-einstein/


Is natural selection proven wrong Edit

http://gamahucherpress.yellowgum.com/books/philosophy/Natural_selection.pdf

http://acancercure.net/is-natural-selection-proven-wrong.html


Darwin on beaks Edit

http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=side&itemID=F401&pageseq=99

p.72 {C}The justice of these remarks cannot, I think, be disputed. If, for instance, a bird of some kind could procure its food more easily by having its beak curved, and if one were born with its beak strongly curved, and which consequently flourished, nevertheless there would be a very poor chance of this one individual perpetuating its kind to the exclusion of the common form; but there can hardly be a doubt, judging by what we see taking place under domestication, that this result would follow from the preservation during many generations of a large number of individuals with more or less strongly curved beaks, and from the destruction of a still larger number with the straightest beaks.

In cases of this kind, if the variation were of a beneficial nature, the original form would soon be supplanted by the modified form, through the survival of the fittest.

p,76 {C}I am well aware that this doctrine of natural selection, exempli- fied in the above imaginary instances, is open to the same objections which were first urged against Sir Charles Lyell's noble views on "the modern changes of the earth, as illustrative of geology;" but we now seldom hear the agencies which we see still at work, spoken of as trifling or insignificant, when used in explaining the excavation of the deepest valleys or the formation of long lines of inland cliffs. Natural selection acts only by the preservation and accumu- lation of small inherited modifications, each profitable to the pre- served being; and as modern geology has almost banished such

E 2

[page] 76

views as the excavation of a great valley by a single diluvial wave, so will natural selection banish the belief of the continued creation of new organic beings, or of any great and sudden modification in their structure.

Aristotle on fitness Edit

http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/browse_thread/thread/1bd8a311d0211e87/c2ef61a38fb208b3?lnk=raot {{{ > For comparison note the Pythagorean theorem: > In any right triangle, the area of the square whose side is the > hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of > the areas of the squares whose sides are the two legs (the two sides > that meet at a right angles). > The Pythagorean theorem is also true by definition, but the definition > is derived from OBSERVATION of the real world. It's truth (and the > definition) is contingent on observation.

A logical validity isn't a definition or theorem. What you stated was a theorem not a logical validity because it can be verified and is falsifiable. The following by Aristotle is not:

".....Wheresoever, therefore, all things together (that is all the parts of one whole) happened like as if they were made for the sake of something, these were preserved, having been appropriately constituted by an internal spontaneity; and whatsoever things were not thus constituted, perished and still perish...."

rephrase: "...these were preserved, ,,, constituted by an internal spontaneity(FITNESS); and whatsoever things were not thus constituted, perished and still perish...."

rephrase: "...these were preserved constituted by an internal FITNESS; and whatsoever things were not thus FIT, perished and still perish....'

rephrase: "...the ones preserved were constituted by an internal FITNESS; and those not FIT, perished ..."

rephrase: "...the ones preserved had FITNESS; and those not FIT, died ..."

rephrase: What happens, happens.

The fit ones indeed are preserved, preserved and fit allude to the same fact it is validity not a theory. We want a theory of evolution, not a series of truisms. }}}


tautology revised artilce on talk.origins Edit

http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/browse_frm/thread/1bd8a311d0211e87/25610336a54d088a#25610336a54d088a {{{ On Oct 2, 11:35 pm, el cid <elcidbi...@gmail.com> wrote: > Perhaps I'm wrong about the essence of the attack. > As it is an errant attack, you can't expect it to be > developed in rigorous detail. However, every such > attack I've seen utilized either, and often both, of the > conflation or presumption I mention directly above.

The concepts that John Tyndall and Charles Darwin referred to was had two expressions: 1) Natural selection 2) SoF

Darwin said that SoF was a better expression. We can have many terms, words and sentences for a single idea. Remember that SoF and NS don't mean anything, only the idea the represented in 1870 by John Tyndall had meaning. SoF <=> NS back in 1870. It might not today,but it did back then . The question is why are we using the terms from 1870 to describe ideas we know today and concepts that Tyndall and Darwin didn't even know about?

The confusion is in trying to force a meaning into SoF , NS instead of trying to understand they are but objects, symbols that represented an idea . This idea Darwin identified as that of Aristotle , he wrote after quoting him: ".... we can see here the principle of natural selection shadowed forth...."

Darwin and John Tyndall could not have solved a problem they couldn't define and neither could Aristotle, because it is actually Aristotle's concept we are dealing with. Thus we must go back to the concept of Aristotle which Darwin reformulated throughout his book representing Aristotle's ideas under the symbol string NS and SoF...

Why is this so difficult to comprehend? }}}

{{{ > So are we all in agreement that this argument is dead? How many > Creationists still use this argument? I recall a list of arguments > even Creationists say not to use. Is this one of them (Evolution being > a tautology).

Note that Tautology1(type 1) is a necessary truth, not a theory. Theories are not truths but potentially falsifiable. A logical validity in contrast can't be refuted nor verified. Evolutionary explanations are a collection of truisms, devoid of any empiricism from which follow non-sequiturs. The conclusion might be correct, perhaps we did come from monkeys, but not as result of logical deduction from the argumentation schema used.

The narration schema involving NS, SoF, ToE ; expanded to included , Developmental plasticityx

phenotypic accommodation and genetic accommodation  etc. are a collection of pseudo sophisticated weasel words that reduces to: what will be, will be

"One thing that should be noted, is that in logic a tautology is something that is _true by definition_. If natural selection _were_ a tautology, that would mean it had to be true, which is perhaps a conclusion creationists would not want to reach" (John Wilkins, 2009).

"I once sat across the table from Alex Rosenberg, a well known philosopher, who argued persuasively that one cannot be both a Christian and accept natural selection. I think Alex intended this as a reductio for Christianity, as natural selection is both true by definition and also observed in the real world (John Wilkins, 2008).

"If Ray wonders why I said NS is true by definition, it is" (John Wilkins, 2009) }}}


affinities between atoms Edit

darwin section on the ambiguity with selection


lucretius on creation Edit

Lucretius on creation and evolution: a commentary on De rerum natura, book ...

By Gordon Campbell, Gordon Lindsay Campbell


http://bit.ly/cHhKpR note the tautology on the page

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