Jump to content
Science Forums

The Theory Of Devolution

Recommended Posts


Science is an algorithmic approach to determining a truth about a specific System, for example how a specific System operates. This occurs through (1) careful observation & data-gathering, (2) consistent hypothesizing (forming a new hypothesis that's consistent with past facts/hypotheses), (3) predicting future behavior (based on that hypothesis), (4) experimentation (to test if all behaviors predicted by the hypothesis occurs)... and repeating these steps ad infinatum (or until scientists [i.e., those educated in the history of past iterations of data/theories] all agree this present theory has been "proven").



I disagree on 4!


At stage 4 scientists try hard to disprove the theory, and if they fail,the theory is a NOT DISPROVED THEORY! Such theories are, in general, safer to use than DISPROVED THEORIES, and accordingly they are somewhat misleadingly referred to as "LAWS".


Then the following example becomes ridiculous...


"An example is the notion that the "earth is flat" -- a scientist will still not say we are certain of it, but instead would say we know with a high probability that the earth is not flat. Even with our own photographs from space showing a sperical earth, and the exact orbit of the earth around the sun, and the moon's orbit around the earth, and a multitude of physical measurements and phenomena that we accurately predict/understand, this still does not give 100% certainty."



The scientists say:


We have to our satisfaction disproved the theory that the earth is flat!

Theres no error in our calculations,and we have no reason to believe we are hallucinating...

Would you have us to prove were not insane!


And you do go on...


"Your description allows one theory to achieve "law-hood" after surviving let's say 50 challenges, while a less noble theory would require perhaps 92 challenges. And who ultimately decides when a theory has attained this pinnacle moniker? You say "after many trials" -- what does that mean? Is there a little known group that decides, ergo the Scientific Tribunal for Elevating Non-disproven Theories Into Law"


All anyone has to do is check whether someone has disproved the theory in question,

if not then the theory is NOT DISPROVEN...

Its still permitted to praise it by "calling" it a "LAW".

A flattering epitet DISPROVED THEORIES are not worthy of.


Why dont you redirect your efforts? :D


Try instead to disprove the theory that only not disproved theories should be used as scientific "laws".


PS Thanx Doctor Jones!

Lets continue smoking our pipes of piece :)

(WTF do you Mean by Law? What you say about them might be true but what Are they?)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 71
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

A Proposal For A New Theory Called Devolution   I propose a new theory called Devolution which re-interprets scriptural accounts of the fall of man.   Premise: We're Devolving Not Evolving.     When t

Actually, what I am asserting does have a basis in reality, so there. :P   I have done enough research on this to know that I'm not barking up the wrong tree on this. :D   Obviously, you don't kno

So much hostility in this room... maybe it is time we all grab a beer, sit back, and cool down for a few minutes. :D   First, I would have to agree with the moon-man in that creationism is not provab

"At stage 4 scientists try hard to disprove the theory, and if they fail,the theory is a NOT DISPROVED THEORY! Such theories are, in general, safer to use than DISPROVED THEORIES, and accordingly they are somewhat misleadingly referred to as "LAWS"."


I don't know how to explain it more clearly. A theory never becomes a law, they are two different things entirely. A law is a statement that describes observations made under a particular set of circumstances. Laws do not explain observations. Laws do not hold under all circumstances. Laws can be used to construct hypotheses and theories, but because hypotheses and theories are explanatory, neither of them are ever laws. Laws are data, hypotheses and theories are explanations of why that data is as it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if I'm fully a Popperian... still have one of my toes on the fence... :scratchchin:

(Where did I put my scalpel...cant find it? hmmm...)

(And where is that bloody fence???)


Sorry man , cant help you,

finding toes in fences aint my speciality :)


Heres a pipe of peace...Cheers! :friday:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this was added after my previous reply.


(WTF do you Mean by Law? What you say about them might be true but what Are they?)


I have explained twice in my words what a scientific law is. I have also linked to the wikipedia article on scientific law which states the following:

A scientific law is a statement that explains what something does in science just like Newton's law of universal gravitation. A scientific law must always apply under the same conditions, and implies a causal relationship between its elements. The law must be confirmed and broadly agreed upon through the process of inductive reasoning. As well, factual and well-confirmed statements like "Mercury is liquid at standard temperature and pressure" are considered to be too specific to qualify as scientific laws. A central problem in the philosophy of science, going back to David Hume, is that of distinguishing scientific laws from principles that arise merely accidentally because of the constant conjunction of one thing and another.


Law differs from a scientific theory in that it does not posit a mechanism or explanation of phenomena: it is merely a distillation of the results of repeated observation. As such, a law is limited in applicability to circumstances resembling those already observed, and is often found to be false when extrapolated. Ohm's law only applies to linear networks, Newton's law of universal gravitation only applies in weak gravitational fields, the early laws of aerodynamics such as Bernoulli's principle do not apply in case of compressible flow such as occurs in transonic and supersonic flight, Hooke's law only applies to strain below the elastic limit, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

JMJones, I acknowledge your statement and as you are correct, I apologize for my incorrect terminology.


Uplift, I would indeed define life as what living things do, as a very (very) broad definition. When using this definition, we must think, "what is it that scientists do?" In defining what scientist do we define science. Just like with life, "what is it that all living things do? What is it that they have in common?" This is where we get a definition of life.


As far as thought experiments go, I don't know if I would call them science, maybe more along the line of philosophy of science, but not science in and of themselves.


Also, I am neither supporting nor denying (verbally) anything JudgeDAR said, simply interested in finding more about what he thinks. I enjoy learning about all things, even things that I find incredulous. Like Eclogite would tell us, An open mind is more about accepting nothing, than about accepting anything.


With our ideas being so drastically different where God is concerned, I move that we join SV and the Doctor and take up the peace pipe. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gaaaaaaaaaawwwd...what a waste...if this type of thing is your bag please go through the archives. There's literally hundreds of threads like this.


That said...


the idea of De-evolution....




well people do seem to be getting less intelligent (or more poorly educated I dunno)...and more irresponsible....but then again the ladies seem to be getting hotter.....hmmmmmmm..... I dunno... Things do most definitely seem to be heading away from the survival of the fittest type evolution and more to survival of everyone no matter how useless end of things....but then again humans do seem to be doing a great job of wiping every other critter out....but then again viruses and bacterium do seem to be thriving...but then again critters that are well adapted to benefiting from humans are thriving... I just don't know .....the system seems to be working from an evolutionary standpoint...




Counter-Evolution...Nah...no good either...dammit I'm just of no use for this type of conversation when sober.:rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this was added after my previous reply.

I have explained twice in my words what a scientific law is. I have also linked to the wikipedia article on scientific law which states the following:


Sorry im not very well organised or ordered and i dont always read everything there is to read...


So laws are selections (or destillations)from the set of scientific truths (= not disproved theories)satisfying not natural nor (to me) evident critera...


I prefer my wiew that the selection is not based on anything but what suits us. I think we can manage without vague selections.

But, perhaps truths can be ordered by generality? The more cases it includes the more law it is? Scientific laws are the highest abstractions? I let it rest there for the time being.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So laws are selections (or destillations)from the set of scientific truths (= not disproved theories)satisfying not natural nor (to me) evident critera...


No, not at all. Scientific truths, if such a thing were to exist, would not be not disproved theories, rather, they would be observations. A scientific law is a general statement about many observations made in the same set of circumstances that allows one to sum up all of those observations with one simple statement. A theory is an explanation for the phenomenon that is observed, or why we make the observations that we make.


For example, Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation and Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion are both generalizations that describe the movements of massive bodies in specific circumstances. Both are useful as a condensed representation of observations, yet neither do they apply in all circumstances nor do they attempt to explain why the observations are what they are. The General Theory of Relativity is a theory which explains why bodies move in a gravitational field, and attempts to explain why we observe Newton's and Kepler's Laws.


EDIT: It occurs to me that as this thread is still located in the Biology forum, and in case it doesn't soon get split up and moved, I should attempt to provide biological laws and theories as examples. There are only a few to choose from that I know of, however, Mendel's Laws of Inheritance describe observations, and are valid under a specific set of circumstances. The Chromosome Theory of Inheritance is the theory that explains why we observe Mendel's Laws of Inheritance.

Edited by JMJones0424
Link to post
Share on other sites

Scientific Laws vs. Scientific Theories

So laws are selections (or destillations)from the set of scientific truths (= not disproved theories) satisfying not natural nor (to me) evident critera...



Rather than begin with an abstract description of the concepts of scientific law and theory, I think it’s helpful to explain some well known ones in their historic context.


Let’s start with Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.


In the first decade of 1609, Johannes Kepler pretty much intuited that his first 2 laws:

1. every planets follow a ellipse with the Sun at one of its foci;

2. the area of a pie-shaped section swept out by a planet in a day (or any other fixed unit of time less than it takes to make one orbit) is the same regardless of when/where it’s located;

and the real zinger, which he didn’t find until about ten years after the first two:

3. the ratio of the square of the time it takes a planet to make one orbit and the cube of half the widest diameter of its ellipse is the same for all orbits [math]\left( \frac{P^2}{a^3} = k \right)[/math]

Described apperant motion of the planets.


Kepler couldn’t figure out why this was so – he tried some ideas, all of them wrong – he was just able to show that the motion of the planets fit his 3 laws to the limits of anyone’s observational precision.


In present day terms, we’d say Kepler found some laws, but not any successful theories, because he didn’t explain why his laws worked in terms of some fundamental laws.


Sixty or so years later, Newton and others appeared to have the idea that Kepler’s laws could be explained by what’s now known as Newton’s law of universal gravitation:


[math]F =\frac{G M_1 M_2}{r^2}[/math]


There’s some controversy that Newton didn’t so much come up with this on his own as clarify and do a better job of rigorously and systematically proving it explained Kepler’s laws, and thus the observed motion of the planets, and allowed it to be applied to moons, and used to calculate the mass of the Sun, Earth, Moon, and moons and planets, but however and whoever came up with it, it’s very usefull, able not only to handle planets and moons, but calculate gravitational motion other than elliptical orbits, changes in orbit when change in velocity is applied (such as bodies being ejected from orbits, and later spacecraft under thrust).


In a sense, this the law of universal gravitation is really a theory that explains Kepler’s laws, but because it stop short of explaining in terms of more fundamental laws – Newton and Nicolas Fatio tried “corpuscular” theories that explain gravity as due to collisions of ordinary bodies with hard-to-detect “corpuscles”, which George-Loise LeSage put much more effort into about 50 years later, but to this day, nobody’s been able to get such a theory to work.


Jump ahead 250 years to 1915, Einstein came up with the General Theory of Relativity, which explains gravity as a feature of space, a weird theory that not only explains Kepler’s laws, but predicts that they’re not quite right – predictions that have been confirmed by precise observations. General Relativity is considered a true theory, because it starts with very fundamental laws – its equivalency principles – and predicts approximately Newton’s and Kepler’s gravitational force and motion laws. It’s not just a concise statement of how nature appears to work, but a collection of essentially philosophical assumptions – its equivalency principles and the validity of arithmetic – that lead to a prediction of how nature must work. And so far, more or less, observation shows that nature actually does work that way.


So, to summarize the present day consensus meaning of “scientific law” and “scientific theory”, a law is merely a statement, without explanation, of how something appears to work. A theory is an explanation in terms of more fundamental laws or assumptions that predicts how something should work.


So the assertion that a successful theory can, through systematic, formal processes (rather, than, as with Kepler, genius intuition) can generate a law is correct, that it becomes a law, incorrect – a somewhat subtle, but important, distinction.


PS: I started working on this post over an hour ago, and as I was about to add it, noticed that it’s nearly the same as the second paragraph of JMJones’s. We must read the same books. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are correct, that is what Gould said and 1 there is some reason to expect ecological niches to be filled but if you look closely you would see no reason to expect even Eukaryota much less complex life forms. of course it might depend on how far back you rewound the tape. One simple change would mean no animals with back bones, yes something similar might evolve from some other source but there is no reason to expect that. 2 Rewind the tape and you might end up with a planet of arthropods or cephalopods or bacteria and nothing else or more likely Archaea. 3 Evolution has no direction other than survival...



1 "some reason"? ...I think its a Scientific Law: That all ecological niches will get filled.

If unclaimed, I claim it!


2 Were the tape rewinded then according to sigurdVs law

all ecological niches will get filled,

which makes it higly unlikely that "arthropods or cephalopods or bacteria

and nothing else or more likely Archaea" will be space travellers!


The simple observation that there are spacetravellers NOW

shows that the allotted time and conditions suffice for producing spacetravellers!


What we cannot do, is predict "the route" evolution will take to space.

Gould was probably correct in guessing a rewind would not produce humans,

but to believe no spacetraveller would show up is simply "Glorifying Humanity"!


3 There is an ordering from "niche of space" to the "niche of lifes origin".Replacing it with a "evolutions arrow" pointing backwards into space gives us the Direction of Evolution... :ha:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't tell me we allow creatards in here. How is the OP not banned yet?

This response is a personal view and may not reflect the views of the forum administration. I offer it as an alternative prespective and not from my role as a moderator.


1. The OP proposes to account for terrestrial life as originating through the action of other intelligent entities. Sir Francis Crick made a similar proposal in the 1970s, though without the attempt to reconcile it with Biblical myth. Nevertheless it does place the OP in esteemed company.

2. As far as I can see the OP has been polite and reasonable throughout. For one thing he has not used deliberately offensive terms such as 'creatard'.

3. His post has generated a productive thread with several interesting posts on the scientific method. He may prove to be a useful 'seed' to promote other such threads within the forum.

4. If he is banned we lose the opportunity to educate him and the unseen lurkers who hold comparable views.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...