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# Chance and evolution

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Some evolutionists say that evolution doesn't happen by chance. I ask if it isn't by chance, then how else has it or does it happen?

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I am sure there are other possibilities, chance seems like a possibility, just not the best one(too me). I suppose saying chance is how it happened will work fine, until another(better)theory comes along.

I understand that proof is required, but I would be worried about holding the theory as true until ALL the facts are straight...

Don't get me wrong I know about probability, and sometimes it seems obvious what the outcome is, but that doesn't make the theory true.

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There's a big difference between "pure chance" and a sequence of events each of which has a certain amount of chance involved.

When an Evolutionist says its "not chance" its to point out the fallacy of the analogy that Creationists try to use where the "chance" that an eyeball would evolve is "like a tornado hitting a junkyard and making a 747", which is then calculated to be so large a probablility as to be improbable.

But the problem with this analogy is that evolving an eyeball takes a long time, and has lots and lots of intermediate steps. Each step involves a bunch of different mutations, some of which are useful, others of which are not, but together these mutations that are indeed based on "chance" become useful and survive to successive generations. Not all of these mutations have to be initially useful since they can hang around if they are not detrimental, meaning they're there when some other mutation happens and then the combination of the two turn out to be very useful, and then they get reinforced. When you look at all the steps involved, the fact that it doesn't really matter which ones mutate by chance in which order because *eventually* the useful one will show up, it turns out that theres almost a 100% guarantee that these complex things will show up eventually. So, in that respect, evolution of life isn't an amazingly improbable event, its almost guaranteed to happen!

Cheers,

Buffy

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Most "evolutionists", like Stephen Jay Gould, believe that evolution is highly "contingent" on events. The conclusion is that if you were to start with the same system, evolution would certainly occur, but the precise results would not repeat over multiple trials (if that were possible).

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How did science create it's vital organized paturn? everything has a beginning, and how did science decide what to create, and how to create it?

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How did science create it's vital organized paturn? everything has a beginning, and how did science decide what to create, and how to create it?
Science doesn't decide; science (hopfully) discovers; how, when, where, annd why. - But of course the hypothesese are debatable.
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Some evolutionists say that evolution doesn't happen by chance. I ask if it isn't by chance, then how else has it or does it happen?

Surely chance is involved, but if things were truly random, we wouldn't be here.

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Randomness (mutations) gives you the pieces with which natural selction acts upon. Natural selection is explictly NOT random, it involves what's best for the given situation.

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...But the problem with this analogy is that evolving an eyeball takes a long time, and has lots and lots of intermediate steps. Each step involves a bunch of different mutations, some of which are useful, others of which are not, but together these mutations that are indeed based on "chance" become useful and survive to successive generations....
Buff- Although the tornado/junkyard/747 analogy might be inappropriate, to my knowledge no one in the gradualism camp has ever demonstrated a credible mathematical counterexample either. This is one of those cases where the evolutionary argument is more faith than science. The math is not substantially improved by suggesting that the steps can be incremental, or that most steps fail. In most instances, these outcomes do not improve the statistics (that is, the liklihood that a viable complex form will eventually arrive from abiotic sources) without generating other unpalatable assumptions.

Personally, I think the general argument for gradualism is very weak, and the tornado/747 analogy is not a bad handle to describe the problem.

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you say that creationism is based on faith...but when the evolution comes up..I see more faith than evidence.

One person says evolution is not by chance..another says that it requires chance..is science the maker of all things? How can you say that science works along with the situation at hand, creating whatever it can in watever environment it is in..changing all the time along with it's situation at hand, and say it is not by chance?

At the same time..when you break apart all the evidence...you keep on finding a more complex universe that could not have evolved randomly.

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you say that creationism is based on faith...but when the evolution comes up..I see more faith than evidence.

One person says evolution is not by chance..another says that it requires chance..is science the maker of all things? How can you say that science works along with the situation at hand, creating whatever it can in watever environment it is in..changing all the time along with it's situation at hand, and say it is not by chance?

At the same time..when you break apart all the evidence...you keep on finding a more complex universe that could not have evolved randomly.

One small point here. Creation is about the origin of life and competes with theories like abiogenesis. Evolution is not about the origin of life, it's about the development after the origin. Debating creationism vs evolution is comparing apples and oranges.

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Some evolutionists say that evolution doesn't happen by chance. I ask if it isn't by chance, then how else has it or does it happen?

evolution doesn't happen by chance, it happens due to changes in the life style or in changes in the demands of the living beings, and when these affects continue for a long time, changes in these livings start to take place and this is what we call evolution

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Buffy: When an Evolutionist says its "not chance" its to point out the fallacy of the analogy that Creationists try to use where the "chance" that an eyeball would evolve is "like a tornado hitting a junkyard and making a 747", which is then calculated to be so large a probablility as to be improbable.

But the problem with this analogy is that evolving an eyeball takes a long time, and has lots and lots of intermediate steps. Each step involves a bunch of different mutations, some of which are useful, others of which are not, but together these mutations that are indeed based on "chance" become useful and survive to successive generations ...

Biochemist: Buff- Although the tornado/junkyard/747 analogy might be inappropriate, to my knowledge no one in the gradualism camp has ever demonstrated a credible mathematical counterexample either.

Sure they have. Ever here of Richard Dawkins' cumulative selection? Let me give you a quick introduction.

As an analogy for forming a human eye, we'll look at getting 500 fair coins to all show heads by flipping them.

The 'Creationist', 'tornado in a junkyard forming a 747' way

Take the 500 coins and flip them all at once. Did you get all heads? Nope. Pick them up and flip them again. Continue this process until you finally get all 500 coins to land heads in a single toss.

The probability of success in a single shot is 1 in 2^500, or about 1 in 10^150. You could have every human on the face of the Earth do nothing but flip coins all day - not stopping to eat, sleep, work, etc. - as fast as they can, for their entire lives, and you still won't succeed. In fact, instead of just Earthlings flipping coins, you could assume that every of the assumed 10^20 planets in the known universe had Earth-population of humans on it and all of those humans also did nothing but flip coins 24-7-365, for their entire lives. Still won't succeed.

The evolutionist's, incremental cumulative selection way

Starting with coin x = 1, take coin x and flip it. Did it lands heads? If not, flip it again. When it does land heads, retain it as head and the move on to the next coin (set x = x + 1).

On average it will take just 2 flips to get any given coin to land heads. With 500 coins in all, it will take only about 2 * 500 = 1000 total flips of coins to succeed. A single person could succeed in only a matter of an hour or so.

There's a HUGE difference between an all-at-once, fully formed Creationist method and the evolutionist's cumulative selection method. Instead of requiring roughtly 2^500 flips it takes only about 2*500 flips.

Biochemist: This is one of those cases where the evolutionary argument is more faith than science.

Biochemist: The math is not substantially improved by suggesting that the steps can be incremental, or that most steps fail.

Wrong. Take a look above at the logic I laid out above about incremental, cumulative selection. It can make things ASTRONOMICALLY more probable.

Biochemist: Personally, I think the general argument for gradualism is very weak, and the tornado/747 analogy is not a bad handle to describe the problem.

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you all probably heard of human footprints being found inside petrified dinasour footprints, or of the many claims of seeing dinasours real life in remote areas.

This seems to controdict the evolution theories of dinasours dying millions of years before humans apeared..and that dinasours are totaly extinct today.

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you all probably heard of human footprints being found inside petrified dinasour footprints, or of the many claims of seeing dinasours real life in remote areas.

This seems to controdict the evolution theories of dinasours dying millions of years before humans apeared..and that dinasours are totaly extinct today.

is this a valid discovery? any evidence? i'm not trying to test you i would just like to see some, i'm curious.

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We can depend on TM to not only report the standard answer, but to accuse those that disagree with him as being unlearned.

As an analogy for forming a human eye, we'll look at getting 500 fair coins to all show heads by flipping them.

The 'Creationist', 'tornado in a junkyard forming a 747' way

Take the 500 coins and flip them all at once. Did you get all heads? Nope. Pick them up and flip them again. Continue this process until you finally get all 500 coins to land heads in a single toss.

The probability of success in a single shot is 1 in 2^500, or about 1 in 10^150......

The evolutionist's, incremental cumulative selection way

Starting with coin x = 1, take coin x and flip it. Did it lands heads? If not, flip it again. When it does land heads, retain it as head and the move on to the next coin (set x = x + 1).

On average it will take just 2 flips to get any given coin to land heads. With 500 coins in all, it will take only about 2 * 500 = 1000 total flips of coins to succeed. A single person could succeed in only a matter of an hour or so.

I suspect most folks will see thorugh this example as a silly refutation that sidesteps the core issues in the conundrum. It is certainly true that the 747 anaology understates the mathematical complexity of the problem, and hence underestimates the probability of random development of the target product (in this case, the 747).

The problem is that complex systems in complex environments create products that damage or obviate proir outcomes. The mamalian eye requires concurrent development of extremely complex changes in three separate embryonic plates, any one of which would have been selected against millions of years previously. The embryonic plates themselves are variations in development that initally offered no advantage, and probably disadvantaged the "first" multi-plate organism. The first "single embyonic plate" multicelled organism was probably disadvantaged over the first single celled organisms since it had more mechanisms for death. The first active DNA was sitting in an environment that was so hostile to biological activity that the DNA would itself be unstable, much less capable to work with other unstable chemicals (RNA, amino acids) for any transcription to occuer, much less life.

To regress this back to TM's simple story, every time you get a coin sequence that support the path to 500 "heads", someone is flipping other coins back to "'tails".

TM- No one has offered a solution to the series of complexity issues that are legion in higher animals. No one has offered a solution to the complexity issues associated with abiogenesis.

Unbiased folks would acknowledge that this issue is unresolved.

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Biochemist: We can depend on TM to not only report the standard answer, but to accuse those that disagree with him as being unlearned. I suspect most folks will see thorugh this example as a silly refutation that sidesteps the core issues in the conundrum.

I hope most folks will see it as a DIRECT CONTRADICTION of your silly claims. It's quite clear that taking an all-at-once-from-scratch method and breaking it up into a series of many incremental selectable steps DOES DRAMATICALLY change the overal probability. And that simple and obvious fact flies right in the face of your ridiculous claim.

Biochemist: The problem is that complex systems in complex environments create products that damage or obviate proir outcomes.

Gee Biochemist, ever hear of a little thing called natural selection? Detrimental mutations are selected against by the environment whereas beneficial mutations are preferentially retained by the environment.

Biochemist: To regress this back to TM's simple story, every time you get a coin sequence that support the path to 500 "heads", someone is flipping other coins back to "'tails".

Again, natural selection in the real world would nicely handle this "problem" you claim exists.

Learn some science .. that should solve your problem.