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Water is Bewitched

“I completely agree that scientific progress has undermined our old animist beliefs and led to the disenchantment of the world.” Jules Evans

I was thinking about that highlighted part, and my response is, “Well, yes and no.” Yes, if Evans is saying nothing more than that we no longer believe, for example, that fairies tangle the hair of sleepers into elf-locks.

But if Evans is suggesting that science has given us a better understanding of final causes, he is wrong. My favorite Chesterton quote:

All the terms used in the science books, ‘law,’ ‘necessity,’ ‘order,’ ‘tendency,’ and so on, are really unintellectual, because they assume an inner synthesis, which we do not possess. The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the terms used in the fairy books, ‘charm,’ ‘spell,’ ‘enchantment.’ They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery. A tree grows fruit because it is a MAGIC tree. Water runs downhill because it is bewitched.

Scientists assume the universe is always and in all places rational and therefore it can be successfully modeled. Water runs downhill today and it will run downhill tomorrow. It will not suddenly start running uphill. In other words, scientists assume that the regularities they observe (which they call “laws of science”) will hold. No scientist can say “why” water runs downhill other than to say that gravity makes water run downhill. But the law of gravity is not a causal agent. Rather, it is an observed regularity. In other words, in 100% of the experiments on earth, water has run downhill, and from that we infer a general principle that things on earth always fall down and we call that general principle “gravity.” Thus, saying that water runs downhill because of the law of gravity is at bottom saying nothing more than water runs downhill because water runs downhill. Chesterton was right. Water runs downhill because it is bewitched.

Everyone is familiar with the child’s game where the response to an explanation is “why?” which requires a deeper explanation, to which the child’s response is “why?” which requires a still deeper explanation.  At some point the inevitable conclusion to the game comes when the adult says “That’s just the way it is.”

Scientists are not exempt from the “why” game.  And it may surprise my readers to learn that they get to the “that’s just the way it is” stage fairly quickly.

Why does water run downhill?

Because things fall down; water is a thing and when it runs downhill it is merely falling down.

Why?

Because gravity makes things fall down.

Why?

That’s just the way it is.

Why does gravity operate the way that it does instead of some other way?  The scientist has no better explanation for that question than the theologian.

 

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54 Responses to Water is Bewitched

  1. I completely agree. I tried to make the same point to a friend by saying that electricity is merely a magical reaction that follows the same rules every time. He said, electricity is an imbalance of charge. I said, what is charge other than magic?

    Thanks for the Chesterton quotation. I am going to memorize it if I can.

  2. But surely scientists don’t stop with “that’s just the way it is”. They may not know the answer. There may not be an answer. But they keep on looking – whether it be gravitrons or photons. That’s one of the problems with ID. It says – stop trying to find out the cause of evolution – the designer did it and ask no more.

  3. Don’t confuse ‘our friends’, Barry , there’s a good chap. They’re already struggling with their scientism.

  4. No , Mark, it’s the perverse determination to pursue the least likely of all probabilities, while refusing to consider the utterly cogent merits of empirically-proven physical truths – even more obstinately, refusing follow the direction indicated by the latter (because it might lead to God, the bogey-man).

  5. ‘But surely scientists don’t stop with “that’s just the way it is”. They may not know the answer. There may not be an answer. But they keep on looking – whether it be gravitrons or photons.’

    Are they dissatisfied with merely naming gravity, then, or are they working on ‘what causes water to run downhill?’

    No. Because they know ID recognises dead ends, as far as human knowledge is concerned. Your stricture:

    ‘That’s one of the problems with ID. It says – stop trying to find out the cause of evolution – the designer did it and ask no more.’

    … might more plausibly make sense were it not abundantly clear that you and your like-minded associates are viscerally opposed to disinterested research, since you clearly cannot countenance the possibility of the designer having done it; even as a theoretical possibility. Better, silence on the subject, as with ‘gravity’.

    Scientism, ridiculed and even occasionally disowned by at least one its leading proponents (P J Myers) though he back-tracked in his next sentence, is alive and well, and you are striving to uphold it.

  6. My apologies. In my sentence, above:

    Are they dissatisfied with merely naming gravity, then, or are they working on ‘what causes water to run downhill?’

    … the first question should have been answered affirmatively, only the second, in the negative:

    They are, indeed, satisfied with merely naming the phenomenon, ‘gravity’, and are not working on what causes water to run downhill…. because they know in their hearts why such a search would lead to a dead end, as surely as do theists.

    As my uncle, a radio ham, used to say, when I asked him questions, as he fiddled with the inside of the radio: ‘Because.’ Well, there is a lot of evidence that God has a similar sense of humour.

  7. Science, especially physics, will come of age when scientists stop being satisfied with mere descriptions. Descriptions can never explain anything because they don’t answer the all important why-questions. Heck, the majority of physicists insist that physics is not about the why but the how. It’s frustrating. Personally, if your science is not interested in finding the why of all phenomena, then I am not interested in your science.

    That’s why I love that Chesterton quote above. If you don’t understand a phenomenon, why act as if you did, as if you were part of some sort of enlightened elite? Admit you’re ignorant and, while you’re still searching, why not create a magical explanation just for the fun of it?

  8. @Mark Frank:

    But surely scientists don’t stop with “that’s just the way it is”. They may not know the answer. There may not be an answer. But they keep on looking – whether it be gravitrons or photons. That’s one of the problems with ID. It says – stop trying to find out the cause of evolution – the designer did it and ask no more.

    This comment is insulting to me because it creates a false division between scientists and design proponents. A lot of those people who discover photons and neutrons are and were religious people who believed in that the universe was designed and created. Sir Isaac Newton is a case in point.

    Furthermore is a lie that ID proponents want everyone to stop trying to find the cause of evolution. We have a hypothesis that claims that evolution was caused by one or more advanced designers. Darwinists, too, have their own hypothesis which claims that life sprung out of dirt and evolve all by itself. It’s obvious which hypothesis is appealing to magic.

  9. I completely agree that scientific progress has undermined our old animist beliefs and led to the disenchantment of the world.

    One wonders at why scientists bother to wonder.

    I agree Barry, it’s absurd.

  10. 10

    Mark Frank @ 2: “But surely scientists don’t stop with ‘that’s just the way it is’”

    Well, yes and no. Yes, scientists will always dig deeper and deeper for ever more intricate and detailed models of reality. If that is the point you are making, you have no quarrel from me.

    I suspect, however, that you are making a far broader point – that scientists are seeking “ultimate” causes. That is most emphatically not the case for the simple reason that the investigation of ultimate causes is beyond the ken of science.

    Consider my example of gravity: Why is there gravity to begin with? Why is the strength of the force of gravity “X” instead of “Y”? Why does gravity conform to the inverse square rule? Why is gravity always in operation? Why is the force of gravity uniform?

    None of these questions is susceptible to scientific investigation.

  11. 11
    CentralScrutinizer

    In other words, in 100% of the experiments on earth, water has run downhill, and from that we infer a general principle that things on earth always fall down and we call that general principle “gravity.”

    Well, it’s not merely that simple. Einstein gave us General Relativity that seems to describe things between mere water falls, things on cosmic scale. But the rest of what you said is basically correct. Nobody knows what gravity “is.” Nobody knows what any fundamental force is.

    Only God knows that.

  12. 12
    CentralScrutinizer

    As for water being bewitched, it doesn’t matter how many babes I wanna bang, or how much money I want to get, or how much pleasure I want to feel, when push comes to shove, a glass of water is the most valuable thing on earth in the right circumstance.

  13. Far from undermining my wonder in water, the more I have learned, through science, about water’s incredible life enabling properties the more my wonder has grown for it. Indeed, the more convinced I am that God created water. A few notes to that effect:

    When we look at water, the most common substance on earth and in our bodies, we find many odd characteristics which clearly appear to be designed. These oddities are absolutely essential for life on earth. Some simple life can exist without the direct energy of sunlight, some simple life can exist without oxygen; but no life can exist without water. Water is called a universal solvent because it has the unique ability to dissolve a far wider range of substances than any other solvent. This ‘universal solvent’ ability of water is essential for the cells of living organisms to process the wide range of substances necessary for life. Another oddity is water expands as it becomes ice, by an increase of about 9% in volume. Thus, water floats when it becomes a solid instead of sinking. This is an exceedingly rare ability. Yet if it were not for this fact, lakes and oceans would freeze from the bottom up. The earth would be a frozen wasteland, and human life would not be possible. Water also has the unusual ability to pull itself into very fine tubes and small spaces, defying gravity. This is called capillary action. This action is essential for the breakup of mineral bearing rocks into soil. Water pulls itself into tiny spaces on the surface of a rock and freezes; it expands and breaks the rock into tinier pieces, thus producing soil. Capillary action is also essential for the movement of water through soil to the roots of plants. It is also essential for the movement of water from the roots to the tops of the plants, even to the tops of the mighty redwood trees,,,
    ,,,Capillary action is also essential for the circulation of the blood in our very own capillary blood vessels. Water’s melting and boiling point are not where common sense would indicate they should be when we look at its molecular weight. The three sister compounds of water all behave as would be predicted by their molecular weight. Oddly, water just happens to have melting and boiling points that are of optimal biological utility. The other properties of water we measure, like its specific slipperiness (viscosity) and its ability to absorb and release more heat than any other natural substance, have to be as they are in order for life to be possible on earth. Even the oceans have to be the size they are in order to stabilize the temperature of the earth so human life may be possible. On and on through each characteristic we can possibly measure water with, it turns out to be required to be almost exactly as it is or complex life on this earth could not exist. No other liquid in the universe comes anywhere near matching water in its fitness for life (Denton: Nature’s Destiny).

    Here is a more complete list of the anomalous life enabling properties of water:

    Anomalous life enabling properties of water
    http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/anmlies.html

    Here is a peer reviewed paper on the ‘Intelligent Design’ of water:

    Water’s remarkable capabilities – December 2010 – Peer Reviewed
    Excerpt: The remarkable properties of water are numerous.,,,
    All these traits are contained in a simple molecule of only three atoms. One of the most difficult tasks for an engineer is to design for multiple criteria at once. … Satisfying all these criteria in one simple design is an engineering marvel. Also, the design process goes very deep since many characteristics would necessarily be changed if one were to alter fundamental physical properties such as the strong nuclear force or the size of the electron.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....42211.html

    Moreover, the fine-tuning of water for life is found to be ‘delicately balanced’ all the way down to the quantum forces holding the water molecule together:

    Water’s quantum weirdness makes life possible – October 2011
    Excerpt: WATER’S life-giving properties exist on a knife-edge. It turns out that life as we know it relies on a fortuitous, but incredibly delicate, balance of quantum forces.,,, They found that the hydrogen-oxygen bonds were slightly longer than the deuterium-oxygen ones, which is what you would expect if quantum uncertainty was affecting water’s structure. “No one has ever really measured that before,” says Benmore.
    We are used to the idea that the cosmos’s physical constants are fine-tuned for life. Now it seems water’s quantum forces can be added to this “just right” list.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....sible.html

    If that was not enough to inspire a sense of wonder for the humble water molecule H2O, it is also found that water is a very thermodynamic obeying liquid that prevents amino acids from forming spontaneously into proteins,,

    Abiogenic Origin of Life: A Theory in Crisis – Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: At 10^-338 molar, we would need an ocean with a volume equal to 10^229 universes (100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000) just to find a single molecule of any protein with 100 peptide bonds. So we must look elsewhere for a mechanism to produce polymers. It will not happen in the ocean.
    http://origins.swau.edu/papers.....fault.html

    Yet when amino acids are linked together, by ribosomes, into functional chains of amino acids that will form proteins, something ‘magical’ happens to waters thermodynamic properties:

    Protein Folding: One Picture Per Millisecond Illuminates The Process – 2008
    Excerpt: The RUB-chemists initiated the folding process and then monitored the course of events. It turned out that within less than ten milliseconds, the motions of the water network were altered as well as the protein itself being restructured. “These two processes practically take place simultaneously“, Prof. Havenith-Newen states, “they are strongly correlated.“ These observations support the yet controversial suggestion that water plays a fundamental role in protein folding, and thus in protein function, and does not stay passive.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....075610.htm

    Water Is ‘Designer Fluid’ That Helps Proteins Change Shape – 2008
    Excerpt: “When bound to proteins, water molecules participate in a carefully choreographed ballet that permits the proteins to fold into their functional, native states. This delicate dance is essential to life.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....113314.htm

    The ‘magic’ of water doesn’t stop there:

    DNA Sequence Reconstituted from Water Memory? – 2011
    Water carrying only the electromagnetic signature of a DNA sequence can make a replica of the sequence out of simple building blocks, Nobel laureate HIV researcher shows.
    Excerpt: When Noble laureate HIV researcher Luc Montagnier discovered that certain bacterial and viral DNA sequences dissolved in water causes electromagnetic signals to be emitted at high dilutions, that was bad enough. Now, new results from his lab appear to show that the DNA sequence itself could be reconstituted from the electromagnetic signal. That has so stunned the scientific community that one prominent supporter was nonetheless moved to remark: “Luc is either a genius or he is mad!” But some quantum physicists are taking that very seriously, and are linking Montagnier’s findings to decades of research demonstrating the sensitivity of organisms to extremely weak electromagnetic fields.
    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/DNA_se.....Memory.php

    supplemental note:

    How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?
    Excerpt: Do you notice that “tiny” bubble over Atlanta, Georgia? That one represents fresh water in all the lakes and rivers on the planet, and most of the water people and life of earth need every day comes from these surface-water sources. The volume of this sphere is about 22,339 mi3 (93,113 km3). The diameter of this sphere is about 34.9 miles (56.2 kilometers).
    http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/2.....olume.html

    Music and verse

    John 4:13-15
    Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.”

    Eddie Money ~ Gimme Some Water
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A49Auj2ARUg

  14. corrected link:

    How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?
    Excerpt: Do you notice that “tiny” bubble over Atlanta, Georgia? That one represents fresh water in all the lakes and rivers on the planet, and most of the water people and life of earth need every day comes from these surface-water sources. The volume of this sphere is about 22,339 mi3 (93,113 km3). The diameter of this sphere is about 34.9 miles (56.2 kilometers).
    http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html

  15. Hi Barry,

    Please tell Salvador to stop deleting my posts.

    He’s supplied three justifications for what he is doing:

    1. I’m a troll.

    Absurd. I’ve been posting here for years.

    2. My posts are off topic.

    Weak. Sure, people can find some off-topic posts. That means all my posts should be deleted in any thread he creates? He creates a thread specifically for off topic subjects and even deletes my posts from that thread!

    3. I have “personally attacked” him.

    I’ve never met the man. Closer to the truth, much closer, is that I have said things to him that he doesn’t want to hear.

    But now you’ve given him power and he’s taken to abusing it.

    How does that serve the ID community?

  16. They are, indeed, satisfied with merely naming the phenomenon, ‘gravity’, and are not working on what causes water to run downhill…. because they know in their hearts why such a search would lead to a dead end, as surely as do theists.

    A casual perusal of physics journals will show that that’s completely wrong. The cause and nature of gravity is one of the more subjects in physics, and projects such as LIGO are ongoing to study the subject.

  17. Oops, should have read: The cause and nature of gravity is one of the more lively subjects in physics…

  18. Barry,

    Salvador modified the contents of a post of mine to make it appear as if I had written something I had not written (There was nothing whatsoever offensive about the post other than it was contrary to a position that Salvador had taken). I strenuously object to that. He has done the same thing to others. Why has he never been held to account?

  19. 19
    CentralScrutinizer

    Mung,

    I love ya. Keep on truckin’!

  20. ty

  21. Well, Barry, I have to disagree with Chesterton. It’s not water that is bewitched, but air. Breathe water much?

  22. Barry #10

    I suspect, however, that you are making a far broader point – that scientists are seeking “ultimate” causes. That is most emphatically not the case for the simple reason that the investigation of ultimate causes is beyond the ken of science.
    Consider my example of gravity: Why is there gravity to begin with? Why is the strength of the force of gravity “X” instead of “Y”? Why does gravity conform to the inverse square rule? Why is gravity always in operation? Why is the force of gravity uniform?

    I don’t know what an ultimate cause is so I can’t answer the first paragraph. The second paragraph I dispute but it depends a bit on what kind of answer you are looking for. If you are looking for an Aristotelian final cause then I agree scientists will not look for that – they never have looked for final causes (and I don’t think they necessarily exist). But I see no reason why physics should not address the questions in the sense of looking for ever deeper theories about the structure of reality.

  23. Mark Frank:

    I don’t know what an ultimate cause is

    And yet over at TSZ you created a thread on Causation.

    If you are looking for an Aristotelian final cause then I agree scientists will not look for that – they never have looked for final causes (and I don’t think they necessarily exist).

    Anyone who has ever looked for a final cause is not a scientist. Aristotle himself never looked for any final cause, and if he did he was not a scientist.

    Barry, I don’t know what scent you use, but it seems to work.

  24. #23 Mung

    Mark: I don’t know what an ultimate cause is
    Mung: And yet over at TSZ you created a thread on Causation.

    So what?

    Mark: If you are looking for an Aristotelian final cause then I agree scientists will not look for that – they never have looked for final causes (and I don’t think they necessarily exist).
    Mung: Anyone who has ever looked for a final cause is not a scientist. Aristotle himself never looked for any final cause, and if he did he was not a scientist.

    Sorry. I should be more accurate. I should have said something like: science as practiced since the enlightenment has not been the pursuit of final causes. Of course there have been people who were scientists who pursued final causes but they were not doing as what the scientific community would currently understand as science.

    Barry, I don’t know what scent you use, but it seems to work.

    Never miss the opportunity for quick jibe!

  25. Mark: I don’t know what an ultimate cause is

    Mung: And yet over at TSZ you created a thread on Causation.

    Mark: So what?

    So let me tell you so what. If you are truly interested in the subject, check the activity in your thread at TSZ.

    If you want to discuss the topic here at UD send an email to someone who can make it happen.

  26. #25 Mung

    I have just seen your comments on TSZ and I am sorry for missing them but the conversation seemed to have halted 18 days before that and I moved on.

    Anyway I don’t know what you are asking for. You just want me to start a topic headed causality? You can do that for yourself on TSZ but without a specific question or event to discuss I don’t know it would generate much debate.

  27. @ Mark Frank
    But surely scientists don’t stop … they keep on looking.

    Not so sure about that.
    Luc Montagnier, 2008 Nobel in Medicine, has made some recent discoveries around the structure of water that do not fit any current chemistry model. If confirmed, they may drive a revision of many long standing views in chemistry. He moved to China to, in his own words, escape the intellectual terrorism in Europe and continue his research there.

  28. Mark, scientists continue to ask the question, to what end and for what purpose? It’s a very natural way to ask about the world.

  29. #27 vanodorf

    I don’t see how your example relates to what I am saying. Surely Luc Montagnier is a scientist who kept on looking?

  30. #28 Mung

    Mark, scientists continue to ask the question, to what end and for what purpose? It’s a very natural way to ask about the world.

    In biology it is a useful heuristic because most features of an organism have evolved to help that organism’s ends. I am not aware of any other examples. Can you provide some?

  31. Mark Frank:

    In biology it is a useful heuristic because most features of an organism have evolved to help that organism’s ends.

    Evolved how-> by design or willy-nilly?

  32. Mark, can you explain how organisms came to have ends but nothing else in Nature does? Next you’ll be touting vitalism, if you’re not careful. ;)

  33. #32 Mung

    Do you concede then that it is only in biology that scientists ask the question “to what end?”?

    Why in biology? Because natural selection and the other mechanisms that comprise modern evolutionary theory cause organisms to develop features that help the organism survive and reproduce. This means that for any feature it is frequently helpful to consider how that feature contributes to the organism’s fitness i.e. to what end. We are not talking about some ultimate purpose – just the purpose of helping that organism (which may well conflict with the purposes of helping other organisms)

    But surely you knew that is roughly how I would answer?

  34. Mark Frank:

    Do you concede then that it is only in biology that scientists ask the question “to what end?”?

    It depends :) Was Aristotle a scientist?

    Are you willing to argue that all language of purpose and ends have been excised from science with the sole exception of biology? What, then, makes biology a science?

  35. Mark Frank:

    Because natural selection and the other mechanisms that comprise modern evolutionary theory cause organisms to develop features that help the organism survive and reproduce.

    Natural selection does not cause organisms to develop features that help the organism survive and reproduce. You are simply confused and/or mistaken.

    Or you misspoke.

  36. Was Aristotle a scientist?

    If you consider his observations on the sea life in a lagoon by the island of Lesbos, I think you’d have to say yes.

  37. Natural selection does not cause organisms to develop features that help the organism survive and reproduce.

    Of course Mark is correct in his understanding of natural selection as the driving force of evolution. That’s why I like to refer to natural selection as environmental design. You may not agree but you need to understand the concept before you can argue against it effectively.

  38. You need to compile a new lexicon, Alan.

    ‘selection’ predicates intelligence and choice. Can a curiously-felicitous process of attrition be a ‘driving’ ‘force’?

    And what about the origin of the felicitous options, the results of the triage – the ‘last ones left standing’, after the process of attrition?

    When does a process become so felicitous it can no longer reasonably be described as unguided, random? Apparently very early in the piece, so why do you and your confreres continue to reject the mathematics?

    You have some nerve, or, rather, want of nous, to describe ‘felicitous attrition’ as ‘natural selection’, but ‘environmental design??!!!’ Another evocation of intelligence and purpose!

  39. When does a process become so felicitous it can no longer reasonably be described as unguided, random?

    When it is called natural selection or environmental design. Decidedly not a random process. Where did you get the idea that natural selection was random? Certainly not from me. Unguided, certainly, but not random.

  40. The movements of something unguided do tend to be a tad random, Alan. It’s why police make suspected drunk drivers walk a line.

  41. Alan, Mark claimed that “natural selectioncause[s] organisms to develop features that help the organism survive and reproduce.”

    That is simply false. Even he has not bothered to defend it. But that doesn’t stop you, oh no.

    Even if some organism, by some as yet unspecified cause (you just have to love modern evolutionary theory) happens to have developed some feature that helps it survive and reproduce, even then there’s no guarantee the feature will be passed on and be present in all future generations.

    If the feature is passed on to subsequent generations to the exclusion of some other feature, then you say that the feature was “selected-for” and the process by which it increased in frequency in subsequent populations you call “natural selection’ (even though it could have been simply pure dumb luck (aka drift).

    You, like so many others of your ilk, don’t even understand your own theory.

  42. Alan Fox:

    That’s why I like to refer to natural selection as environmental design.

    What’s wrong with calling it natural selection?

    You may not agree but you need to understand the concept before you can argue against it effectively.

    No one needs to understand concepts that you just make up on the spur of the moment.

  43. Natural selection is just differential reproduction due to heritable random variations. It doesn’t do anything, it definitely doesn’t design anything.

    And, being an output driven by three random inputs, anyone can see it is also random, or as non-random as the spray pattern from a sawed-off shotgun shooting bird shot.

  44. Well, Joe, if those dead birds form a pattern, that’s environmental design!

  45. If Alan is doing the shooting no birds would be harmed…

  46. Alan, Mark claimed that “natural selection … cause[s] organisms to develop features that help the organism survive and reproduce.”

    And I agree with him.

    That is simply false. Even he has not bothered to defend it. But that doesn’t stop you, oh no.

    We all have the choice to comment on websites as time, opportunity and inclination permit.

    Even if some organism, by some as yet unspecified cause (you just have to love modern evolutionary theory) happens to have developed some feature that helps it survive and reproduce, even then there’s no guarantee the feature will be passed on and be present in all future generations.

    If the feature is passed on to subsequent generations to the exclusion of some other feature, then you say that the feature was “selected-for” and the process by which it increased in frequency in subsequent populations you call “natural selection’ (even though it could have been simply pure dumb luck (aka drift).

    You read evolutionary theory as literally and simplistically as you read the bible. Selection acts on populations, sifting out the less successful alleles. The process is statistically non-random. Unfortunately it is too slow to play you a video. Although the Lenski experiment has shown selection in action for E. coli

    You, like so many others of your ilk, don’t even understand your own theory.

    How, with your inability to produce only your garbled version of ToE above, in any position to conclude what other people understand? How bizarre!

  47. Oops a missing “are you” rather garbled that last sentence. It should read:

    How, with your inability to produce only your garbled version of ToE above, are you in any position to conclude what other people understand? How bizarre!

  48. Alan, Mark claimed that “natural selection … cause[s] organisms to develop features that help the organism survive and reproduce.”

    And I agree with him.

    Then you disagree with evolutionary biologists.

    Selection acts on populations, sifting out the less successful alleles.

    Reference please- we know NS doesn’t act on anything.

    The process is statistically non-random.

    Reality says otherwise- so you lose, again.

    Although the Lenski experiment has shown selection in action for E. coli.

    If it has then NS is in big trouble as no new proteins arose- heck not ecven new functionality arose.

    And Alan, seeing that you cannot reference this alleged ToE how would you know what a garbled version is?

    And it is a given that you understand very little- your posts betray you.

  49. It is a given tat Alan does NOT understand natural selection:

    Natural selection is just differential reproduction due to heritable random variations. It doesn’t do anything, it definitely doesn’t design anything.

    And, being an output driven by three random inputs, anyone can see it is also random, or as non-random as the spray pattern from a sawed-off shotgun shooting bird shot.

    Keep choking on it Alan…

  50. Joe, a technical question. I note that you seem to have the same problem as me in that odd letters get missed from the words you type. “Tat” for “that” above for example. Do you think there is a software glitch somewhere, as I find it happens very regularly here but not elsewhere?

  51. PS does JoeG have a link to where “Reality says otherwise”. Is it Mr, Ms or Dr Reality and is it in a published paper?

  52. Alan,

    My issue with typos appears to be me. I am typing without looking and posting without proof-reading.

    As for reality says otherwise, well I explained that also. Strange that you cannot handle that explanation…

  53. Ooops- however I have noticed that my typos- espcially the “h” have increased with the new keyboard…

  54. And we are STILL waiting for Alan to produce some evidence taht natural selection can do something…

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