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Thread: Why Evolution ???

  1. #1
    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    Why Evolution ???

    Why do we have evolution? was there a choice? static or dynamic, or are there indeed many Universes each with a different set of rules, just curious.
    btw I will be awol for a few days, sorry
    Last edited by JHC; Feb-14-2010 at 03:29.

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Maybe it just developed that way
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  3. #3
    Commodore con Forza
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    Charles Darwin would probably say, "Because I said so". But he sure stirred up a lot of controversy.

    I'm currently wending my way through a book called "Encyclopedia of Cats". They go into some history and speculation on how the feline family came to be household pets. But it seems that most "breeds" are decided by human observation. Probably true with most other animals, too.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    But it seems that most "breeds" are decided by human observation. Probably true with most other animals, too.
    Yes in the case of domesticated animals but not "wild" animals; I can't see anybody wanting to selectively breed say crocodiles, or lions or piranhas. The only "wild" animal breeding surely is that done to preserve species in danger of extinction.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    J.H.C. - isn't this a little too unanswerable? I'd rather contemplate a nice place to have cooked breakfast with my partner on a Saturday morning than why a blue-bottle ended up blue and not screaming pink.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    J.H.C. - isn't this a little too unanswerable? I'd rather contemplate a nice place to have cooked breakfast with my partner on a Saturday morning than why a blue-bottle ended up blue and not screaming pink.
    Quite right CT, I thought it would bring out the philosophers among us.
    The point I was raising is not how evolution works, but why we have it and was it inevitable

  7. #7
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    There is no "why", it is simply a process we have observed in nature. Assuming that it implies a teleology is simply anthropomorphizing.

    As far as its inevitability, I don't think that's the right word. We have no evidence that organisms have emerged anywhere else but here, so it clearly isn't a necessary effect of a planet's evolution. If you mean, "is it inevitable given the right conditions" then we don't know the answer to that, yet.

    The idea of many universes is, of course, pure speculation, so we can't really say anything meaningful about it. It's an interesting idea, and supposedly some models in quantum physics support some justification for this speculation, but there is currently no evidence to support it, afaik. It is a useful concept in formal logic, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    There is no "why", it is simply a process we have observed in nature.
    So does that mean we just accept it without giving it any consideration??
    We have observed quite a bit in”nature” and asked why, and sometimes we get an answer
    Assuming that it implies a teleology is simply anthropomorphizing.
    So is that wrong?? Is it not a justified way of thinking?
    As far as its inevitability, I don't think that's the right word. We have no evidence that organisms have emerged anywhere else but here,
    But the odds are surly in favour of life elsewhere and if it does exist would you expect it to evolve?
    so it clearly isn't a necessary effect of a planet's evolution. If you mean, "is it inevitable given the right conditions" then we don't know the answer to that, yet.

    agreed, we also don’t know if other sets of conditions rule out life. So if life is not just confined to this planet would you or would you not expect to see evolution?

    The idea of many universes is, of course, pure speculation, so we can't really say anything meaningful about it. It's an interesting idea, and supposedly some models in quantum physics support some justification for this speculation, but there is currently no evidence to support it, afaik. It is a useful concept in formal logic, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.H.C. View Post
    So does that mean we just accept it without giving it any consideration??
    Certainly not. It is given the same consideration as any scientific theory.

    We have observed quite a bit in”nature” and asked why, and sometimes we get an answer
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "why". Could you be more specific? Science deals with how things work not why they are there. Why generally has to do with intent or purpose.

    So is that wrong?? Is it not a justified way of thinking?
    It's not wrong in the moral sense, but it is certainly irrational to attribute human qualities to non-human things without reason.

    But the odds are surly in favour of life elsewhere and if it does exist would you expect it to evolve?
    Yes. The odds are in favor of life elsewhere and I would expect it to evolve given the right conditions.

    agreed, we also don’t know if other sets of conditions rule out life. So if life is not just confined to this planet would you or would you not expect to see evolution?
    Yes, given the right conditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Certainly not. It is given the same consideration as any scientific theory.
    Jls, I think we are getting there

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "why". Could you be more specific? Science deals with how things work not why they are there. Why generally has to do with intent or purpose.

    That’s correct and I am not asking scientifically but philosophically, Science asks how, philosophy asks why.

    It's not wrong in the moral sense, but it is certainly irrational to attribute human qualities to non-human things without reason.

    Did I mention Human?
    Yes. The odds are in favor of life elsewhere and I would expect it to evolve given the right conditions.



    Yes, given the right conditions.
    Thank you ,so why would you expect it to evolve ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.H.C. View Post
    That’s correct and I am not asking scientifically but philosophically, Science asks how, philosophy asks why.
    Why what? I don't know what you're asking.

    Did I mention Human?
    Yes, you did. Purpose, intention and consciousness are functions of the human brain. We know this because we are human and those things are part of our experience. They are functions of our species. When we attribute a function of our species to something other than our species, that is anthropomorphizing. It is an assumption that the other thing has this human function.

    Thank you ,so why would you expect it to evolve ??
    Because there is no evidence that the mechanics of the universe are different on other planets.
    Last edited by JLS; Mar-14-2010 at 21:01.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Why what? I don't know what you're asking.

    Have a look at my OP

    Yes, you did. Purpose, intention and consciousness are functions of the human brain. We know this because we are human and those things are part of our experience. They are functions of our species. When we attribute a function of our species to something other than our species, that is anthropomorphizing. It is an assumption that the other thing has this human function.
    No way
    I did not mention Human you used the term ‘Teleological’ which is ok but you added ‘anthropomorphizing’ so you made the assumption.


    Because there is no evidence that the mechanics of the universe are different on other planets.
    There is also no evidence that it is not different but that is not the point and does not address my original query.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.H.C. View Post
    Have a look at my OP
    Why do we have evolution? was there a choice?
    Are you asking why we developed the model that is evolution or are you asking why the processes we describe with that model exist or something else?

    When you ask about choice, are you asking if we had a choice in developing the model or if there was a choice in the processes it describes existing or something else?

    You may have a clear understanding of your questions, but you certainly have not made them clear to anyone else.

    No way
    I did not mention Human you used the term ‘Teleological’ which is ok but you added ‘anthropomorphizing’ so you made the assumption.
    Teleology is the study of purpose. Purpose is a human characteristic. It isn't necessarily strictly a human characteristic, but claiming that anything other than a human has purpose without justification is anthropomorphizing. If you have justification for the claim that something has purpose then you are not anthropomorphizing.

    There is also no evidence that it is not different but that is not the point and does not address my original query.
    What original query? You asked me if I thought evolution would occur on another planet given the right conditions and I said yes. You then asked me why and I told you. Now you are claiming that it doesn't matter and is irrelevant. Do you actually want answers to these questions or are you just looking to squabble?

    Also...

    Of course there is evidence that physical laws are the same everywhere. Objects behave the same everywhere we look in the universe.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Are you asking why we developed the model that is evolution or are you asking why the processes we describe with that model exist or something else?

    I would have thought that the question was clear, do you have trouble understanding many things??

    When you ask about choice, are you asking if we had a choice in developing the model or if there was a choice in the processes it describes existing or something else?
    No

    You may have a clear understanding of your questions, but you certainly have not made them clear to anyone else.

    Why do you make this assumption, have you asked everyone?? As far as I recall its only you and me, so don’t try the old defensive trick of implying that you have a band of loyal followers to back you up.

    Teleology is the study of purpose. Purpose is a human characteristic. It isn't necessarily strictly a human characteristic, but claiming that anything other than a human has purpose without justification is anthropomorphizing. If you have justification for the claim that something has purpose then you are not anthropomorphizing.


    Believe it or not I do understand the meaning of the words, it is your inclusion of anthropomorphizing that has clouded the issue
    What original query? You asked me if I thought evolution would occur on another planet given the right conditions and I said yes. You then asked me why and I told you. Now you are claiming that it doesn't matter and is irrelevant. Do you actually want answers to these questions or are you just looking to squabble?

    It takes two to tango buster………
    Also...

    Of course there is evidence that physical laws are the same everywhere. Objects behave the same everywhere we look in the universe.
    Really, everywhere, that is not saying much as we only know a small portion of it but how about a Black Hole do the laws we know apply to that?? amazing. Do you even know what size the UV is ??
    It seems pointless taking this topic any further as you will duck and dive and loose the original intent and quite honestly I have not the time or inclination to do so. I have had enough of you. I shall retire.

  15. #15
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    Okay. You obviously have no desire to have an intelligent conversation. I answer your vague questions as best as I can and you tell me those aren't the questions you're asking. I ask you to be more specific and you respond by attacking me. From your behavior I must assume that you have some deeply held beliefs and my answers are threatening them. Should you ever feel ready to discuss whatever it is you want to discuss openly and honestly without all of these juvenile games, I'll be more than happy to oblige. Just let me know when your ready and I'll respond.

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