Boeing 747s and Other Misunderstandings about Evolution

by cofty 89 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • prologos

    cofty, we are glad you picked the 747 design as an icon in this discussion, because

    it has a WING carrying that somehow grotesque fuselage.

    wings are great evolved tools, used by vegetation, (Maples seeds)*, birds and mammals.

    it was inevitable that this wing structure would find its niche because

    There are four mechanism that guarantee its functional succes:


    1) Newtons action reaction wing pushes air DOWN , back, gets lifted UP

    2) suction: air on the top of wing goes faster, is thinner, sucks wing UP.

    3) surfing: Wing generates a rotating wave (opposite to ocean wave) that has an upside, fast side in which the wing flies.

    4) centrifugal force, the curved air about the wing is an air flow section of a narch, a circle and the upper arch has an upward radial vector.

    how could creatures resist to use such a sure thing?

    a thing od beauty?

  • KateWild

    Perhaps the most common misunderstanding that prevents people from grasping evolution is complexity.-cofty

    Einstien talked about hidden complexities and accepted that there were things far too complex for him to understand. This drove him to make honest enquiries.

    The chances of monkeys with typewriters producing this phrase exactly is 1 in 10,000 million million million million million million.-cofty

    If this was the result of a DNA test in a court of law, would this be a match? This is a probability only. This result means it's not probable no matter the amount of years that pass.

    I have read 3 chapters of Dakins as promised. In the "The Blind Watchmaker", which I am not tempted to read, does Dawkin's dismiss the concept of mathematical probabilities, as it seems so the way you have put it cofty?

    What do you mean by teleology? There are lots of various definitions.

    Sam xx

  • tijkmo

    where did the typewriter, the computer, and the programme come from

  • cofty

    They were designed by intelligent humans.

    That is the whole point of the thread. Once replicating molecules exist an increase in complexity is inevitable. Please dont be sidetracked by the question of how the first simple replicator came about, that is a different thread.

    Extremely complex biological things are built by cumulative selection of very small changes. Think of it as a ratchet.

  • snare&racket

    I have explained it to a few family members, the molecules and atoms in the universe all have charges and therefore want to interact including both attraction AND repulsion. Repulsion is just as important in this chemistry as it can shape complex,molecules, such ss proteinsmthat have hydrophobic regions, in the presence of water they take shape as it moves away from the H2O.

    The universe itself even has complex molecules in it that formed without intelligence, ignoring obvious exsmples of complexity such as stars, we have complex molecules such as carbohydrstes flosting in space...,thats sugar to you and me, the backbone of dns, not just important in cake!

    The universe is one big chemistry laboratory, with experiments happening spontaneously all over it all of the time, going back billions of years. Dr Krauss a physicist, expkains how all of this, including the laws of physics could come by from nothing. Amazing stuff, a lot more inspirational than bronze age stories of angels slaying 1000 men a night, god killing all of egypts first born or gods son spitting in blind mens eyes....

    ok so the spit eye was cool, but the rest ...yawn...

  • rawe

    Hi Cofty,

    "Extremely complex biological things are built by cumulative selection of very small changes. Think of it as a ratchet."

    It is the tug-a-war between environments where complexity can build up pitted against elements that dilute and breakdown complex things that is facinating. The universe over all has no respect for life. Thus, in our case, the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs seems to have set the stage for the rise of the mammals.

    The idea of small change having big effect seems to be hard to grasp. The selective pressures of evolution also work on brains. Thus a brain that is better at selecting a more viable mate, will tend to be the one that survives more often. In concert with this the brain that is a bit better at advertising their viability wins more often in this too. See the Bowerbird as an example. As for humans, this quote from the movie Dead Poets Society captures the idea...

    John Keating: Language was developed for one endeavor, and that is - Mr. Anderson? Come on, are you a man or an amoeba?

    [ pause ]

    John Keating: Mr. Perry?

    Neil: To communicate.

    John Keating: No! To woo women!



  • adamah

    Prologos said- and individual members of a species are willing participants, coerced to work at it hard through the pleasure of sex with it's vagaries and premature death if the genetic "hand of cards" you are dealt is not full of aces.

    I'm not picking on Prologos, but that kind of thinking limits one's ability to understand evolution.

    For one, the whole "survival of the fittest" meme is a pet-peeve of mine, since you CONSTANTLY encounter it in media presentations for the lay public.

    The problem is it's a VAST OVERSIMPLIFICATION, where a more-general principle that is more accurate would be, "Survival of those who survive (and thus pass on their genes to offspring)".

    Yes, it's somewhat circular logic, but it's how evolution actually works: "survival of the fittest" is true in SOME, but not all cases, eg a member of an antelope species may be the fastest one who's best-adapted to it's environment, but it STILL can be eliminated from the gene pool if it should be caught off-guard by a lion. Nature doesn't afford animals the luxury of lining up all antelope species at a start line, firing a starter pistol, and then releasing the lions from behind a gate, and the slowest one loses after the fastest lion is allowed to eat it's victim; after repeated trials, only the fastest antelope remains standing and the fastest lions are fed, and each mates with females to pass on their genes in celebration of their victory. That's not how natural selection works, since it operates on probabilities, and is thus a bit-more "messy".

    That leads to the subject of who tends to survive: that's variable and messy, and depends on the strength of 'selection pressure(s)' (selection barrier(s)).

    If we're going to use cards as an analogy (and I hate analogies, but....), it's not so much about being dealt a 'winning hand of cards' (eg royal flush), as much as NOT being dealt a LOSING hand, which was determined BEFORE the cards were dealt. In the card analogy, a royal flush might be the ONLY losing hand, and everyone else gets to stay in the game for the next round.

    In biology, a 'losing hand' might be a deleterious and lethal mutation of genes that resulted in miscarriage of the fetus. But if an individual survives to reproductive age, it's as if their winning that generational 'round' means their genes get to stay in the game, based on their prior ancestor's having passed their tests. THAT'S where the accumulation effect comes into play.

    So that's why I say it's not about holding a WINNING hand, as much as not being dealt a rare LOSING hand. Some mutations ARE a burden on the organism by placing it under some physiological load, but as long as they're able to survive anyway, it's not a problem (eg in eyes, some carry genes that make them near-sighted: it's not a problem nowadays, since humans have developed eyeglasses. Hwoever, that same trait meant a significant disadvantage to the individual eg if they couldn't see a predator coming over the horizon while it was in the distance. They may have needed to rely on those in the clan who had the ability to see in the distance, and had to rely on social relationships to survive).

    All the card analogies break down since as the fetus example shows, the card game is constantly going on, with each individual in their own private game against their environment. In humans, the "shuffling of cards" and the "dealing" occurs at the moment the zygote forms, and the great benefit of sexual reproduction vs asexual reproduction is how the process avoids the harmful effect of some mutation occurring in the gene pool, ESPECIALLY if different genes are introduced into the gene pool.

    I think of a Caucasian kid in Junior High who had a crush on an Asian girl, and who said that their kids would be healthier due to the blending of genes. When it comes to genetic diseases that result from mating between members of the same gene pool, he was absolutely correct, since there are some conditions which are more likely to result when people from the same gene pool reproduce (and why it's a REALLY BAD IDEA to mate with one's siblings: there's a much-greater incidence of defective genes being present in siblings, and some conditions require BOTH sets be present in the child in order for the defect to be expressed). That's why we speak of those who may carry a certain genetic defect, but not be effected (sickle-cell anemia, Tay-Sachs, etc); if carriers reproduce, their offspring may actually not only be carriers, but suffer from the condition.

    The fact is the Hebrew preference for not marrying foreigners from the OT has resulted in a higher incidence of eg certain types of breast cancer in Jews.

    It's also why the concept of a master Aryan race is flawed, too: it potentially contributes to the accumulation of defective genes which are more likely to be expressed.

    Prologos said- I believe though, that we are DRIVEN to evolve, adapt.

    Biologists avoid words like 'driven', since there is no outside intelligence driving the process.

    Arguably you might say that the intelligence of humans who understand evolution is now exerting an effect on what used to be a mysterious process, and in that light, humans are somewhat driving the process, since every doctor who prescribes a medicine to help someone survive is in a small way effecting the gene pool. In other words, we're artifically influencing evolution, just like a dog breeder does to select for certain traits.


  • KateWild

    Once replicating molecules exist an increase in complexity is inevitable.-cofty

    When I read the point it occurred to me that it could be misunderstood to be implying teleology.-cofty

    Where exactly is the misunderstanding? What do you mean by teleology, there are many definitions? Love Sam xx

  • adamah

    Kate asked-

    What do you mean by teleology, there are many definitions?

    He was referring to his computer example, which is premised on some pre-determined 'target' existing (namely, recreating Shakespeare's words). Natural selection doesn't operate that way, since there is no predetermination or end-point of what the organisms are "trying" to become, or as if "wanting" to evolve to become something.

    Telelogy comes from the Greek ('tele' is 'ends', 'goals' 'purpose', and 'logos' refers to words). So the word teleology refers to words to convey a desired end-point.

    Evolution doesn't work like that.

    But as I just explained in my post above, only recently have humans become aware of how the process of evolution operates, and thus are able to influence their own evolution. Not that they didn't unknowingly effect the process in the past, eg many cultures in ancient times (including the Hebrews) would examine a newborn child and put it to death if they found any evidence of birth defects or abnormalities in the child, since they concluded it was from the Devil. That kind of practice had an effect on influencing the gene pool.


  • KateWild

    He was referring to his computer example-Adam

    I thought you were going to stop taking the bait Adam. How do you know what Cofty is thinking? You have misunderstood him plenty of times. I don't need a definition from you Adam, google has many.

    I am quietly confident what he means by it, and I want him to confirm it. I can make higher order abstractions and suspect where he is going with this.

    But if you want a question of your own I will give you one. See next post

    Sam xx

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