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Author Topic: How does "instinct" evolve?  (Read 149310 times)

Offline Asyncritus

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #225 on: 22/03/2009 11:39:31 »
Darwin on Instinct
C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species (London: Cassell and Co., Ltd., 1909), p. 189.

"This is by far the most serious special difficulty which my theory has encountered. . . . The problem at first appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to my theory."

"No complex instinct can possibly be produced through natural selection except by the slow and gradual accumulation of numerous, slight, yet profitable variations. . . .We ought at least to be able to show that gradations of some kind are possible, and this we certainly can do."

Heh heh heh!
 

Offline Asyncritus

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #226 on: 22/03/2009 11:43:49 »
Darwin on Instinct
Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd ed. (New York: A. L. Burt Co., 1874), pp.74 ff., 122.

"Those animals which possess the most wonderful instincts are certainly the most intelligent," but "instincts seem to have originated independently of intelligence."

He at least got that right - because the lowliest animals and plants, 'intelligent or not,' all exhibit instinctive behaviour.
 

Offline Asyncritus

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #227 on: 22/03/2009 11:47:10 »
Migration of the Monarch Butterflies
Burton, Illustrated London News, 23 January 1960, p. 142.
M.  Ricard, The Mystery of Animal Migration (London:  Constable, 1969).

Monarch butterflies are famous for their migrations, sometimes as much as two thousand miles, to places like Pacific Grove, California.15 This is so predictable that a city bylaw there protects them. Burton calls it one of the wonders of the world. The migratory hordes extend for miles each fall as they take one of two flyways southward. They semihibernate in California all winter. Then in spring they fly north, never to return. But their untaught progeny do.

Why do these creatures migrate at all? They could hibernate where they were. They pay no attention to the winds, may make wide meanders, but they get to their destination with great accuracy. They surely do not move to find new feeding grounds, nor yet for evolutionary reasons. In South America a similar race of monarchs moves in the reverse direction. Indeed, the monarch has appeared in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and the East Indies.

Migratory butterflies may travel enormous distances, but they always try to return to their home locality, even to the same bush, to lay their eggs.

Evolutionary explanations please?
« Last Edit: 22/03/2009 11:51:15 by Asyncritus »
 

Offline _Stefan_

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #228 on: 22/03/2009 12:31:41 »
More ignorance and more quote-mining. Can't we expect more from you?

Your argument is basically: "I don't know how, or science doesn't know how yet, therefore GOD DID IT!".

There actually is evidence that indicates that sea turtles navigate using magnetoreception, as well as other cues. For example:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/r05570821547q742/
http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/45/3/539


Monarch Butterflies:

http://gomexico.about.com/od/monarchbutterfly/ss/monarch_4.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080108083008.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_butterfly#Migration


Even if there was absolutely no evidence on this topic, the alternative is not GOD DID IT. The alternative is more scientific research.
 

Offline BenV

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #229 on: 22/03/2009 14:37:05 »
Sorry to go off topic here, but there's one big problem Asyncritus cannot face - god doesn't exist.  He may think he can find ways that evolution doesn't work, but that simple fact totally scuppers his alternative.

Either way, Asycnritus admits that his problem is not with evolution, but with the perceived attack on his beliefs.  He is not willing to discuss or debate the issue, will not listen to anyone else' point of view and is merely crusading.
 

Offline Asyncritus

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #230 on: 22/03/2009 14:38:11 »
Come, come Stefan.

You're mud-slinging again - but this time it's hitting the writers of those accounts. They're all referenced, so if you're going to shout quote-mining, you need to prove it by going back to the original articles and showing that the writers mean the exact opposite of the quote.

Until you do that, I'd shut up if I were you.
 

Offline BenV

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #231 on: 22/03/2009 16:14:51 »
You make a very good point about animals not needing to migrate, but isn't this just further evidence against an intelligent creator?  If animals were created, why would a creator bother with all this?

Once again, postulating a creator asks more questions than it answers.
 

lyner

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #232 on: 22/03/2009 20:38:28 »
Creationists cannot / will not accept the 'inside out' argument  which evolution uses.
Basically, if  there is an advantage in certain behaviour, then an organism may exhibit it. It is hard to conceive the colossal wastage in an evolutionary system. Most departures from the norm involve loss of reproductive capacity (failure to find a mate or death). Only the rare ones result in success. There must have been a lot of failures whilst a species 'learned' to migrate. Migration must have started as a relatively local behaviour pattern and then stretched to global dimensions, once they 'got the idea'. My anthropomorphic shorthand may be forgiven, here; no actual purpose was implied in my argument!

It is not surprising that they can't accept it because it doesn't include the existence of a God.  It is amazing how 'they' prefer the complete absence of evidence for their God to the, sometimes, rather weak evidence, used to explain certain bits of evolution. Faith has been responsible for an awful lot of bad choices in the past but it is a very 'comforting' notion.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #233 on: 22/03/2009 21:10:01 »
Come, come Stefan.

You're mud-slinging again - but this time it's hitting the writers of those accounts. They're all referenced, so if you're going to shout quote-mining, you need to prove it by going back to the original articles and showing that the writers mean the exact opposite of the quote.

Until you do that, I'd shut up if I were you.

You are taking pieces of someone else's writing, often out of much of it's context, skewing the meaning and ignoring the authors' purpose in order to support an argument that they don't agree with.

Whenever you do have the integrity to preserve the context and meaning, you abuse it all still to fit your agenda.
 

Offline Asyncritus

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #234 on: 26/03/2009 01:34:06 »
Come, come Stefan.

You're mud-slinging again - but this time it's hitting the writers of those accounts. They're all referenced, so if you're going to shout quote-mining, you need to prove it by going back to the original articles and showing that the writers mean the exact opposite of the quote.

Until you do that, I'd shut up if I were you.

You are taking pieces of someone else's writing, often out of much of it's context, skewing the meaning and ignoring the authors' purpose in order to support an argument that they don't agree with.

Whenever you do have the integrity to preserve the context and meaning, you abuse it all still to fit your agenda.

As I said, if you can't prove your allegation, then shut up.

So prove already.
 

Offline Asyncritus

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #235 on: 26/03/2009 02:06:51 »
Creationists cannot / will not accept the 'inside out' argument  which evolution uses.
Basically, if  there is an advantage in certain behaviour, then an organism may exhibit it. It is hard to conceive the colossal wastage in an evolutionary system. Most departures from the norm involve loss of reproductive capacity (failure to find a mate or death). Only the rare ones result in success. There must have been a lot of failures whilst a species 'learned' to migrate. Migration must have started as a relatively local behaviour pattern and then stretched to global dimensions, once they 'got the idea'.

I really cannot believe that an intelligent TNS can say such incredibly daft things!

So they flew 5 miles, and then worked that up to 7,500! Wowie!

C'mon Sophie, not even you can believe such nonsense!

Here are a few more facts which demolish the 'learned how to do it' school of thought:

"There is good evidence that young birds are equipped with endogenous migratory programs, which tell them roughly how many days and/or nights that they must fly, and in what direction."

 In his book La Puissance et la Fragilité, Prof. Pierre Jean Hamburger from René Descartes University describes the extraordinary 24,000-kilometer journey made by the shearwater that lives in the Pacific Ocean:
(and also http://birdchaser.blogspot.com/2006/08/sooty-shearwater-migrationamazing.html)


    It sets out from the coast of Australia. From there it flies straight southward to the Pacific. Then it turns north and flies along the coast of Japan until reaching the Bering Sea where it can rest for a while. Following that break it sets off again, and this time heads south. Crossing the western coast of America, it arrives in California. It then crosses the Pacific to return to its starting point. The route and timing of this 15,000-mile (24,000-kilometer) figure ‘8’ journey it makes every year never change. The journey in question lasts a whole six months, always coming to an end in the third week of September on the island it left six months before, at the nest it left six months before. What comes next is even more astonishing; after their return, the birds clean their nests, mate, and lay a single egg over the last 10 days of October. The chicks hatch out two months later, grow very fast and are cared for over three months until their parents set out on that stupendous journey. Two weeks later; around the middle of April, it is time for the young birds to take wing on their own journey. They follow exactly the same route as that described above, with no guide. The explanation is so obvious: These birds must have all the directions for such a journey within the inherited characteristics passed on within the egg.  Some people may claim that birds navigate by the Sun and stars or follow the winds prevailing along their route on this journey out and back. But it is clear that these factors cannot determine the journey’s geographical and chronological accuracy."
Pierre Jean Hamburger, La Puissance et la Fragilité, Flammarion Pub., Paris, 1972.

"migratory birds have comprehensive, detailed, innate spatio-temporal programs for successful migration. Such programs evidently enable even young, inexperienced birds to migrate alone, with no adult guide, to the species- or population-specific winter quarters that they have never seen before. As will be explained further below, they do this by "vector" navigation: referring to a vector composed of a genetically predetermined migratory direction and to a time-plan, also genetically predetermined, for the course of migration... It follows that the departure time is programmed by genetic factors... "
Peter Berthold, "Bird Migration: Introductory Remarks and Overall Perspective", Torgos, 1998, Vol. 28, pp. 25-30

Not only is it preprogrammed, but it is preprogrammed to do impossible things!


"Some birds migrate at seemingly impossible altitudes. For instance, dunlin, knot and certain other small migrating birds fly at a level of 7,000 m (23,000 feet), the same altitude used by aircraft. Whooper swans have been seen flying at 8,200 m (27,000 feet). Some birds even reach the stratosphere, the layer of thin atmosphere, at an altitude of between 8 and 40 kilometers (5 and 25 miles).11 Bar-headed geese cross the Himalayas at an altitude of 9,000 meters (29,529 feet), close to where the stratosphere begins."

Quote
My anthropomorphic shorthand may be forgiven, here; no actual purpose was implied in my argument!

It is not surprising that they can't accept it because it doesn't include the existence of a God.  It is amazing how 'they' prefer the complete absence of evidence for their God to the, sometimes, rather weak evidence, used to explain certain bits of evolution. Faith has been responsible for an awful lot of bad choices in the past but it is a very 'comforting' notion.

The evidence I have been presenting, and which has received no refutation worthy of the name, supports the exceedingly realistic hypothesis that these things were all super-intelligently designed.

Any aeroplane, flying a journey of 1000 miles or so, with fully functioning GPS, at an altitude of 25,000 feet or more at the very edge of the stratosphere, has got to be intelligently designed, or it would simply perish.

Yet, here are these birds, with brains the size of walnuts, performing feats of flight which strain the believability organ.

And they 'evolved' from reptiles, say the evolutionists!

Somebody is kidding you, guys!
« Last Edit: 26/03/2009 02:11:14 by Asyncritus »
 

lyner

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #236 on: 28/03/2009 22:13:09 »
As you have been banned, it would be unfair to answer. I only say that you have missed the whole point of what I was saying, async.
 

lyner

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #237 on: 01/04/2009 23:29:02 »
This is a Science Forum. If people want Religion or Philosophy, they should post on appropriate Fora. That's reasonable, isn't it?
 

Offline achilles_heel

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #238 on: 02/12/2009 20:54:47 »
Being new to this forum, it's not clear why this subject has died.
Surely we can discuss objections to scientific theory without being accused of being religious can't we?

I do have a problem with Asyncritus's conclusions and perhaps someone could talk me through the thinking here, as he appears to have been excluded.  It seems to me that he is saying, 'Here with instinct is a marvellous thing which evolutionary theory cannot accommodate, and THEREFORE there must be a God who did it because no other explanation has been given.'
 
Surely this is a 'God-of-the-gaps' explanation, which is fine unless, and until, someone comes up with a better theory which gives some deeper consideration to these objections and provides an explanation which incorporates the objections that he makes to the current theory.
 
It is a valid argument against Darwinian theory but is not proof of God.
 
My own take on it is that the existence of what I perceive as design in the universe (not only biological , but also at all levels from subatomic to cosmology) begs the question of any existing theory for the origin of the universe and life.
 
One theory that should be taken into account in any reasonable open discussion is that there may be a Creator God.  It is one possibility in a sea of competing theories. We can't dismiss it out of hand just because we don't like it!
 

Offline ornate iridescence

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #239 on: 03/12/2009 04:26:39 »
At present, there are no valid arguments and no evidences against modern evolutionary theory. Anyone with a detailed understanding of the theory, and without an agenda of denial, would be able to see that.

The 'God-of-the-gaps' arguments are easily dismissed by evolutionary theory and basic logic.

There is no evidence of  "design" in the universe. All apparent "design" is illusory, and can be shown to be produced by entirely natural causes.

Any reasonable discussion should automatically exclude a creator entity as a possibility. There are no valid reasons that a creator should exist. There is no evidence that it does exist. And even if it did exist, it would explain absolutely nothing, yet raise more questions: Who created the creator? How does the creator create? etc.

Evolutionary theory has withstood the test of time, been supported by millions of pieces of evidence. There are no alternatives to evolution, just as astrology is not an alternative to astronomy, alchemy is not an alternative to chemistry, the stork theory of reproduction is not an alternative to sexual reproduction, and so on. Evolution is the best and only explanation available, and this is unlikely to change.
 

Offline littleWolf

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #240 on: 13/01/2010 23:35:29 »
At present, there are no valid arguments and no evidences against modern evolutionary theory. Anyone with a detailed understanding of the theory, and without an agenda of denial, would be able to see that.

The 'God-of-the-gaps' arguments are easily dismissed by evolutionary theory and basic logic.

There is no evidence of  "design" in the universe. All apparent "design" is illusory, and can be shown to be produced by entirely natural causes.

Such statements are indeed far too broad to address with any validity, certainly not in a short post.  They are incredibly arrogant.  No significant claim was made in this most recent reply to the thread; thus, there has been no significant reply.  The original post here was simply inquiring as to the explanation for the behaviors of the yucca moth.  The logic springing from evolutionary theory is not capable of such an explanation for this, nor many other inter-dependent plant/animal relationships and behaviors.  So evolutionary theory remains just that - a theory. 

And even if it did exist, it would explain absolutely nothing, yet raise more questions: Who created the creator? How does the creator create? etc.

Can we work to identify the genetic encoding of such behavior?  What then, the origin of that genetic encoding?  If one question leading to more questions is a "problem" with creationism, is it a blight that the same "problem" is shared by evolutionism?  Or all science, for that matter?  Isn't that the fun of science?  Always more to discover... Questions, questions, questions.  What questions does either theory attempt to answer?  Neither provide absolutely provable answers.  Both require faith.

Any reasonable discussion should automatically exclude a creator entity as a possibility.

To begin demanding the exlusion of certain possibilities is to surrender to ignorance, I'm afraid.  We'd still be sacrificing our children to Molech's fire, hoping for a better harvest next year.  Be reasonable?  Yes.  Be ignorant?  No!  Bury our heads in the sand and pretend that belief in God is somehow a sham that's been pulled on the masses from the beginning of time?  That all people of faith (including many a great scientist) are fools?  Let's not be hasty.  If someone wants to postulate that a "creator entity" is a possibility, does that demand our investigation as to the "why" of the yucca moth come to a grinding halt?  I would hope not - our desire for discovery demands better of us!  Who knows what we'll find!

I wish the great biologist, Asyncritus, was still around to post a few of the world's wonders from time to time, rather than having been removed (probably thanks to people who didn't like the fact that a few of those wonders didn't fit the mold of their own theory!).  Such elitist thought-control is paramount to book burning!  Let's embrace the anomalies and examine their cause, not complain about agendas and question motives!  We're scientists, here - not blithering emotional whiners!
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #241 on: 14/01/2010 06:23:09 »
Quote
So evolutionary theory remains just that - a theory. 

Evolution is a fact. The theory of evolution is the best explanation of how evolution works.

Just as gravity is a fact. Our theory of how gravity works is our best explanation of how gravity works. And its "just a theory"

In science, a theory is the highest possible status any explanation can attain. And in order for a theory to remain a theory, it must not conflict with any evidence or observations. Evolution doesn't, which is why it remains a "just a theory".

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The original post here was simply inquiring as to the explanation for the behaviors of the yucca moth.  The logic springing from evolutionary theory is not capable of such an explanation for this, nor many other inter-dependent plant/animal relationships and behaviors.  So evolutionary theory remains just that - a theory.

Because we do not currently have an adequate explanation for a phenomenon does not mean that it is forever unexplainable, or that it therefore defies the laws of nature or requires a paranormal explanation. I agree that religion has no place in a scientific discussion.
« Last Edit: 14/01/2010 06:29:30 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline Ophiolite

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #242 on: 14/01/2010 12:38:09 »
Surely we can discuss objections to scientific theory without being accused of being religious can't we?
Certainly, but not if we then use religious dogma to formulate or justify those objections. That's reasonable, wouldn't you say?

It seems to me that he is saying, 'Here with instinct is a marvellous thing which evolutionary theory cannot accommodate, and THEREFORE there must be a God who did it because no other explanation has been given.'
 
It is a valid argument against Darwinian theory but is not proof of God.
I quite fail to see how this is a valid argument against Darwinian theory. Perhaps you could elaborate. The only thing that appears to be in contention is the precise pathway by which the instinctive behaviour arose. The general means by which it arose is the usual marriage of germ cell mutation and natural selection. The current absence of detailed explanations merely reflects the current insufficiency of research in the relevant areas.

One theory that should be taken into account in any reasonable open discussion is that there may be a Creator God.
Why should this be taken into account in a discussion on evolution? The character and diversity of life is explicable by evolutionary theory. Why introduce an unnecessary complication?

We can't dismiss it out of hand just because we don't like it!
I agree that some people dismiss it out of hand for this reason. That is invalid. But others reject it for the reason noted above - it is superfluous.

Quote from: ornate irridescence
There is no evidence of  "design" in the universe.
There are observations for which arguably the simplest explanation is design. Perhaps you are using a peculiar definition of evidence.

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There are no valid reasons that a creator should exist.
What is the valid reason the universe should exist? 
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There is no evidence that it does exist.
I see you are still having difficulty with the meaning of evidence.

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And even if it did exist, it would explain absolutely nothing, yet raise more questions: Who created the creator? How does the creator create? etc.
Science, in answering any one question, nearly always raises several more, so your objection her is specious.
 

Offline BenV

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #243 on: 14/01/2010 13:09:51 »
I wish the great biologist, Asyncritus, was still around to post a few of the world's wonders from time to time, rather than having been removed (probably thanks to people who didn't like the fact that a few of those wonders didn't fit the mold of their own theory!).  Such elitist thought-control is paramount to book burning!  Let's embrace the anomalies and examine their cause, not complain about agendas and question motives!  We're scientists, here - not blithering emotional whiners!

Asynchritus was banned because he refused to listen to facts, logic and reason - he had already made up his mind, and refused to engage in discussion.  As this is a discussion forum, this was frustrating and detrimental to other members of the forum.

There's no elitist thought control going on.
 

Offline littleWolf

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #244 on: 14/01/2010 17:24:19 »
Evolution is a fact. The theory of evolution is the best explanation of how evolution works.

As usual, this discussion is hampered by our inadequate language.  We need far too many words to qualify / explain / justify our statements.  I will try not to demand or expect too much of the statements of others, as we're all limited by this unfortunate constraint. 

We would all benefit (the writers and the readers) from some additional clarification, though.  Such a statement as this is quite broad - "Evolution is a fact."  Is this statement in regard to microevolution a la moths in England?  Macroevolution a la amoebas to humans?  Those subjects are quite different, most would agree.  And as usual, humans have a difficulty transitioning from the micro to the macro. 

Just as gravity is a fact. Our theory of how gravity works is our best explanation of how gravity works. And its "just a theory"

And of course, exceptions have been found historically to our explanations for the behavior of gravity (e.g., Newton's theories being superceded by Einstein's).  So when you say "Evolution is a fact," I assume you're talking about some minor facet of evolution which has been observed, not the entire scheme.  In other words, only very small bits of evolution have been observed to actually occur - the rest is inferred from fossils, etc. - each inference bearing its own inherent uncertainties (thus keeping evolution theoretical, overall).  To say "Evolution is a fact" seems quite broad to me, and worthy of some explanation. 

In science, a theory is the highest possible status any explanation can attain. And in order for a theory to remain a theory, it must not conflict with any evidence or observations. Evolution doesn't, which is why it remains a "just a theory".

I guess this is where the divide occurred between the camp of Asyncritus and the camp of evolution.  Some will turn a blind eye to evidence which conflicts with the theory of evolution, or dismiss it as unrelated; while others see that evidence as demanding further investigation.  Had Einstein and his friends ignored the minor perturbance in the orbit of Mercury, we might not have the theory of relativity! 

In other words, even though Newton's theory of gravity solves 99.9% of the problem, it still is not fundamentally correct.  That "phenomenon" of the disturbance in orbits (and other things we can think of now) indicated a flaw in Newton's theory.  It is quite fair to point out flaws in the theory of evolution which demand we go back to the drawing board.  Darwin's observations were compelling, to be sure - the facts which he observed have led to changes in our understanding of the way the natural world operates, and we shouldn't turn a blind eye to his work nor the work which has been built upon it.  But we must acknowledge he provided no real answers to the question of the origin of life.  There remains that work to be done, if we're still unsure of the answer.

Asynchritus was banned because he refused to listen to facts, logic and reason - he had already made up his mind, and refused to engage in discussion.  As this is a discussion forum, this was frustrating and detrimental to other members of the forum.
Incidentally, I found him - he's writing a blog now - newbielink:http://www.got.to/belligerentdesign [nonactive]

Regardless of your feelings towards him, we must admit that he introduces a confounding fact to the theory of classical macroevolution, one which demands investigation.  One which may be "explained" by other various theories - that a Creator made the moth this way, that the genetic code of the moth simultaneously developed the myriad instinctive behaviours (maybe we call this "Spontaneous Temporally Unrestrained Population Interdependence Development?"), or by some other theory.  The classical theory of evolution, which involves small changes within a species leading to the formation of new species over time, does not adequately explain the instinctive behaviors of the moth. 

We must carve out the facts (observed phenomena) from the faith (often the theory, or the "how" of those phenomena).  The fact is that the Yucca Moth shows peculiar (wonderful, indeed!) instinctive behaviors.  In theorizing "how," Asyncritus seems confident of his answer, one built on faith - in which it is hard to poke holes - that a Creator encoded those requirements into the genes of the Yucca Moth.  Others are content to adhere faithfully to a theory which does not adequately explain the observed fact, or to make as broad a statement as those of faith:  "Evolution is a fact" (where "evolution" refers to classical macroevolutionary theory) is on par with "God did it."  Thus the choice exists for people as to which camp to join.  But we must acknowledge that at some point, everyone is making a leap of faith...
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #245 on: 14/01/2010 18:49:51 »
It is a fact that species evolve over time. The theory of evolution is the best current explanation of how species evolve. If you take the time to learn the subject you will find the overwhelming evidence for evolution.

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Such a statement as this is quite broad - "Evolution is a fact."  Is this statement in regard to microevolution a la moths in England?  Macroevolution a la amoebas to humans?  Those subjects are quite different, most would agree.  And as usual, humans have a difficulty transitioning from the micro to the macro.

It is in regard to every living organism on Earth. It can be shown by sequencing the genomes of any 2 species that they will share a common ancestor.

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I guess this is where the divide occurred between the camp of Asyncritus and the camp of evolution.  Some will turn a blind eye to evidence which conflicts with the theory of evolution, or dismiss it as unrelated; while others see that evidence as demanding further investigation.

Go ahead, show us this evidence which conflicts with evolution. Thousands of biologists will be keen to see it.

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Had Einstein and his friends ignored the minor perturbance in the orbit of Mercury, we might not have the theory of relativity!

You set up a good example for me. Gravity is a fact - all bodies attract one another. Newtons theory was the best theory there was to explain this fact. Einstiens theory explains it even better, and succeeds Newton's theory. This is what we do in science. If a better explanation is found, that becomes the new theory. The current theory of evolution has evolved (pardon the pun) since Darwin's time as more information was brought to light. Maybe more evidence will come to light to cause further modification of the theory. But as it stands our current theory of evolution is the best explanation we have of the fact that species evolve over time.

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In other words, even though Newton's theory of gravity solves 99.9% of the problem, it still is not fundamentally correct.

It was a scientific explanation though. And it was succeeded by a better scientific explanation.

What would not have been a scientific explanation though, is a theory that an all powerful undetectable being constantly pushes all matter together.

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It is quite fair to point out flaws in the theory of evolution which demand we go back to the drawing board.

I couldn't agree more, that's what science is about. I'd love to learn more about these so called flaws, could you elaborate?

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But we must acknowledge he provided no real answers to the question of the origin of life.  There remains that work to be done, if we're still unsure of the answer.

So what? The theory of evolution explains how life evolved over time. Not how life started. Look up abiogenesis for the theory of how life began. Here is a well made youtube video explaining it -

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One which may be "explained" by other various theories - that a Creator made the moth this way,

That is not a scientific explanation. "God did it" has been the explanation to almost everything at some point in time. No matter what you apply it to you can't disprove it. If this is the kind of explanation that satisfies you then you're welcome to it, but it couldn't be further from a satisfying explanation to someone who bases their beliefs on evidence and reason.

As a scientific hypothesis "God did it" fails because it introduces more complexity than the current theory. Have you heard of the concept of Occam's razor?

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We must carve out the facts (observed phenomena) from the faith (often the theory, or the "how" of those phenomena). 

Sorry if it upsets you but all the facts fit with evolution. Scientists have belief in the theory of evolution, but not faith. Faith is belief in absense of evidence. There is overwhelming evidence for evolution.

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The fact is that the Yucca Moth shows peculiar (wonderful, indeed!) instinctive behaviors.  In theorizing "how," Asyncritus seems confident of his answer, one built on faith - in which it is hard to poke holes - that a Creator encoded those requirements into the genes of the Yucca Moth.

If you assume that there is a creator then of course it is impossible to poke holes in "God did it" theory. However I can poke holes in your assumption all day long. It becomes an athiest vs. theist argument then, nothing to do with evolution. I'm happy to debate that - but this thread is supposed to be about science not religion, feel free to start a thread or add to one of the many millions of atheist vs. theist threads and i'll join you there.

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"Evolution is a fact" (where "evolution" refers to classical macroevolutionary theory) is on par with "God did it."  Thus the choice exists for people as to which camp to join.  But we must acknowledge that at some point, everyone is making a leap of faith...

Just plain wrong. The first statement is based on observations and evidence and "God did it" is based on nothing.
« Last Edit: 14/01/2010 18:52:33 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline echochartruse

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #246 on: 02/06/2010 00:38:53 »
Quote from:  There Is 'Design' In Nature, Biologist Argues http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143838.htm
In a Feb. 17, 2008 symposium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston,*

 Miller will argue that science itself, including evolutionary biology, is predicated on the idea of "design" -- the correlation of structure with function that lies at the heart of the molecular nature of life.

Miller is a cell biologist and the Royce Family Professor for Teaching Excellence at Brown.
Miller will argue that the scientific community must address the attractiveness of the "design" concept and make the case that science itself is based on the idea of design -- or the regularity of organization, function, and natural law that gives rise to the world in which we live.
He points out that structural and molecular biologists routinely speak of the design of proteins, signaling pathways, and cellular structures. He also notes that the human body bears the hallmarks of design, from the ball sockets that allows hips and shoulders to rotate to the "s" curve of the spine that allows for upright walking.

"There is, indeed, a design to life -- an evolutionary design," Miller said.

"The structures in our bodies have changed over time, as have its functions.

Scientists should embrace this concept of 'design,' and in so doing, claim for science the sense of orderly rationality in nature to which the anti-evolution movement has long appealed."

4/010413083229.htm

'The Intelligent Genome,' by Adolf Heschl

Genes 'regulate' for a purpose and through a process we may not understand yet but not willy nilly and random without a reason, but usually with intent out of necessity for survival.

'Genes Know How to Network'http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2009/04/21-03.html?rss=1
not random but for a purpose

Genes know their left from their righthttp://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v8/n9/full/nrg2194.html

'Evolutionary design' is not saying a diety

It may take some a very long time to grasp there doesn't have to be a 'diety' in control that life itself has design, function and one day we will find the purpose. That evolution is based on cause and effect, not random mutation.

 

Offline liquidusblue

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #247 on: 10/06/2010 08:02:03 »
Did a search on google this morning "how does instinct work?" (out of bordom - waiting for a sofa to be delivered!). This thread on this website appeared top of the search engine.

The worrying thing is that I managed to read half of Asyncritus' initial post before realising hang on a second this is creationist tripe. [xx(]

I wouldn't class myself as particularly ignorant either. When I'm not at home waiting for the trivial items of life I work in a materials laboratory for one of the worlds largest weapons manufacturer, designing materials capable of withstanding hypersonic flight, using fancy tools like scanning electron microscopes, x-rays with computed tomography & performing failure investigations (similar to air crash investigations) in the rare event one of them breaks up in a trial, To name a few things. Can't say too much. But I'm not an idiot basically.

The way it is cleverly written in the style of a scientific argument, plus the fact it appears on this website (used to listen to the podcast occasionally - CT reconstructions can really grind sometimes!) suckered me in, thinking 'oooh this is interesting' until he basically said "evolution can't exist" before i thought... hey wait a moment, that's not right  ??? [:I]

My concern is other people with nothing better to do than search for "how instinct works" ;D will be suckered in. Not due to it's content (clearly manipulated) but the convincing way it is written posing as science. Is there any way of moving it lower down the searches or editing the original post to with a caveat on top.  [?]

Seems a bit police state i suppose. But I strongly feel all of this creationist stuff - especially with it being taught as 'Science' in some American schools over the pond is the biggest thread to real Scientific understanding today. Picking and choosing which bits of science to put in and leaving inconvenient things out to make it sound like the truth. [xx(] Grinded my gears so much i had to register! :o

Don't worry if you think I'm being stupid, i have faith that most people will see it for what it really is. Well I certainly hope so! Or hat they will read the whole thread rather than the first post and see him being discredited. i should say, people are entitled to believe what they want but they shouldn't try pass their belief of as science  [:(!]

Anyway on a lighter note it also reminded me of this spoof science news story from newsbiscuit, some of the science ones are pretty funny sometimes:

newbielink:http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2010/05/25/synthetic-life-form-accuses-god-of-playing-science/ [nonactive]

What i find funniest is, were there any god or creator he'd / she'd be redundant now anyway, i don't understand why people feel they need one. People are "gods" pretty much. "Anything you can do, i (we) can do better!)  ;D Able to perform "miracles" whether they be life extending "miracles", rehabilitating people after terrible accidents. Create synthetic life, alter existing life through GM. Fly, not just in air in space, land on the moon. Talk to someone on the other side of the planet through a device smaller than a cooking match box. Why on earth does anybody need a "god", we can do all his/her tricks! It's not as if he pushes the planes through the sky.

Unfortunately this extends to destructive power too (i probably play a part in this), the atomic bomb - 160,000 lives extinguished in an intant (and that was a tiny one there are ones hundreds of times bigger), biological weapons capable of larger numbers over time (equivalent to plagues in the bible), Toxic gases war and industry (Union Carbide - killing 25,000 people in Bhopal and now they are worried about a few oil covered pelicans // Controversy!  ;) ) - Oil leaks, desertification of land through industry and so on. We've have more destructive power than anything described in the stories within religious books.

If i had a time machine and could travel back with half of the things I've mentioned here, I'm pretty sure I'd have the whole planet worshiping me, because to anybody who doesn't understand them they would look like "miracles".

Woah massive post!

Have a good day,
M

(sofa delivered between 08:00 and 18:00! Jeez Clearly no intelligent design in that!)
« Last Edit: 10/06/2010 08:29:06 by liquidusblue »
 

Offline BenV

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #248 on: 10/06/2010 11:13:04 »
Hi liquidusblue, and welcome to the forum.

I'll have a chat with the moderators - we've not included disclaimers like this in the past, but you do have a very good point.

I suppose that people who want to have their creationist views confirmed will only read the first post and go away happy, but non-creationists would read on and see his arguments thoroughly refuted.
 

Offline echochartruse

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How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #249 on: 28/06/2010 23:35:15 »
Biological clock - all living creatures have it. It controls cell division in bacteria. Migration in birds, butterflies and its associated with jet lag. circadian a (24-hour) life rhythm.

Our appitite is controlled by it
Quote from: http://www.physorg.com/news178804470.html
   MiRNAs have recently been discovered and have been shown to be involved in different processes in animals. By the use of new state-of-the-art techniques (most of them developed in the present study) the authors demonstrate that one specific miRNA (called bantam) recognizes and regulates the translation of the gene clock.

So its their body clock that tells them to migrate and apparently its their anntennae that direct them.

Quote from: http://www.physorg.com/news173021625.html
In a paper to be published in the journal Science, Reppert and his colleagues Christine Merlin, PhD, and Robert J. Gegear, PhD, have demonstrated that the butterflies' antennae —formerly believed to be primarily odor detectors—are actually necessary for sun-related orientation, a critical function commonly thought to be housed solely in the insect's brain.

Please read the links very interesting.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

How does "instinct" evolve?
« Reply #249 on: 28/06/2010 23:35:15 »

 

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