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I'm speaking of the nature that falls within our scope of knowledge, as it is patently impossible to speak of that which falls without.
According to evolution humanity is the most successful species on the planet. Please don't pull a mamabear and imply that insects are at the pinnacle because there's so many of them. I'm tired of supposedly intelligent people being willfully obtuse just to avoid admitting the blatantly obvious and thereby concede a point.
The point of my somewhat flippant comment was that there is nothing in evolution which talks about "pinnacle" or "successful" or any other such subjective descriptive.
Are humans better at hunting than, say, a cougar? Are they strong than apes? Can they endure harsher cold or warm conditions than polar bears or camels, respectively?
You could say that there are a ton of animals out there which, on their own by virtue of their natural physical abilities (not enhanced via technology), are the pinnacle of hunting or survival or whatever.
From what little I know about evolution, the idea is that different species developed in different ways bases on the long term conditions they are found in and based on the raw material available to them and the based on the types of conceivable alterations open to them on a genetic level and once they reach a stage that works (allows the species to keep going) then the changes slow down or stop. Does that mean they have reached the pinnacle of evolution - no. They have just gotten to a stage that works.
As a more mundane example of this, consider the keyboard. The most common configuration is the QWERTY configuration, right? It was developed to make typing faster. But it turns out that there are other configurations that are better (superior) at this. So why haven't we changed? You can make the same argument about the transition from English units to metric here in the US. It can be argued that the metric system is a better (again, superior) system of units. But we have stuck with a less efficient system. Why? Because the QWERTY keyboard and English units work well enough. There's no real impetus to move on to something which is better.
From what I understand, evolution says the same thing happens with biological systems. They evolve to a point that is good enough, and then stop (until something changes and then they might have to try changing again). I don't see this as a march toward superiority or the pinnacle of anything. If anything, it suggests that organic systems are the slackers of the universe - do the bare minimum and then stop.
My point is that I don't think believing in evolution obligates or encourages you to walk around with some smug attitude of superiority. It might, but if that's the case, I'd guess you were an arrogant jerk to begin with. And from what I wrote above, you could argue that it actually encourages the opposite.
Besides, I'm pretty sure most religions encourage the view that humans are special or above all other creatures - am I wrong about that? Could I use that to suggest that religion encourages folks to be arrogant and smug in the sense of feeling like the favorite child of a parent?
I could, but I wouldn't since I believe people's attitudes are defined by much more than their particular outlook on man's place in the universe.
Personally, I'd be a lot more smug about getting 100% completion on Red Dead Redemption that about feeling like the superior life form on this planet (and anyway, a quick look in the mirror in the morning would eliminate any feelings of superiority I might have about being a superior life form).
I've tried to explain why Brunette is not interpreting evolution correctly, but she keeps returning to words like "pinnacle." I don't think I mentioned insect biomass, so that is presumably an argument someone has tried unsuccessfully to persuade her with before.
You are close, but it wouldn't be quite correct to say that evolution "stops," once functionality is achieved. It would be more accurate to say that directional change slows down drastically.
Still lovin' the picnic basket! The complexity and magnificence of it sure makes me realize how small and unknowing I am in comparison. It helps me keep things in perspective.
Hey, just let me know if you want me to move off the blanket. I wouldn't want to break the rules or anything -- and you guys are so much more AWESOME than I am, so I defer to your judgment.
"If not us, who? If not now, when?"
Hey giggles, join me up here and bring the picnic basket.
Evolution tells people that they are the apex of billions of years of effort. Finding out that God did it in a day, and that the human race immediately shot itself in the foot, must be a bit of a letdown. ROFL
Amazing. I suggest that there could be infinite universes, some of which held life and some of which didn't, and you guys think that I can't imagine other universes which would hold life different from us, and that I am a narcissist for thinking that humans are the pinnacle.
It's like I'm not even typing, you hear NOTHING I say! How many times now have I said that humans are not any more evolved than any other creatures on earth. Three times? Four times? How many times do I need to say it before someone will remember that I said it.
How many times do I need to say that I think humans are a flash in the pan? Would you like me to repeat the Feynman quote about how small we and all of our drama are compared to the awe-inspiring vastness of the universe? You misrepresent my position over and over again, and you are completely oblivious to it.
How many times now have I said that humans are not any more evolved than any other creatures on earth.
A few types of animals use rudimentary tools, while humans have built rocketships and walked on the moon. Then there's art, literature, music, dance, and thousands of languages. Yup, no difference between us and all the "other creatures".
I didn't say there was no difference between us and all the other creatures. Read what I said carefully and then feel free to try again.
coming from you.
If evolution is true, the only standard to measure anything by is how evolved it is, that is, how well it adapts and overcomes. By that standard, humans are immeasurable light-years beyond all other forms of life on this planet.
"We're no more evolved than other creatures, but we're different" doesn't square with your own professed beliefs. Different, how?
You realize you just admitted that there's something special about humanity, right? Something that sets it apart from the rest of creation. Huh. Sounds like something a Christian would say.
Every species currently alive has done just as good a job at adapting and overcoming as any other. Evolution is pass/fail. The ones who failed are gone, the ones who passed are still here. In the future, maybe we'll outlast every other creature on the planet, but since we're animals, that's unlikely. Beyond that, humans are free to judge their success by any other standards they choose-- you might decide that being a highly cognitively flexible ecosystem engineer is better than, say, being the most highly specialized carnivore on the planet. But that is just something we've decided to value, nature hasn't picked a winner in that race until someone goes extinct.
We're different than every other species. So is every other species. Species are unique, everyone is different than every other, so no, the quality of being different does not set us apart from other species. We are the best at what we do, and what we do is pretty awesome in my humble opinion. But other species are the best at what they do, they just do different things than us. Hermit crabs can't critique art, but we can't smell calcium through our hands.
other than words invented by humans to describe what we see in the universe? Is the formation of a planetary system out of a nebula, a process that transforms "non-ordered" particles into quite symmetrical shaped bodies, a violation of the second law of thermodynamics? What about the forming of a snowflake or a crystal?
And as for the formation of planetary systems, you might as well declare that the shape a drop of rain takes on as it plummets to the earth is "order coming out of disorder".
This universe is governed by laws, some of which we can understand (like the aerodynamics of falling water), and others we can only guess at. That very fact should be enough to convince any rational mind that there is a Great Rational Mind.
I'll ignore your condescending attitude for the moment (Why is it obvious that I know nothing about crystallography?).
And as for the formation of planetary systems, you might as well declare that the shape a drop of rain takes on as it plummets to the earth is "order coming out of disorder".
That is exactly my point. Order and disorder are entirely human notions concerning our perceptions of the world. To say nothing ordered comes from disorder requires you to provide a definition of what these things are.
This universe is governed by laws, some of which we can understand (like the aerodynamics of falling water), and others we can only guess at.
This is an unproven and unprovable assumption. Just because we found (invented?) models that have, to a certain degree, predicted events in this world correctly doesn't mean that the universe is governed by laws. First of all that is a metaphor, but a useful one.
That very fact should be enough to convince any rational mind that there is a Great Rational Mind.
And herein lies the rub with this metaphor. If taken literally it automatically implies a creator.
troglodyt and Wrathful Brunette,
There is an objective definition of "order" - it's called entropy and it has a very precise definition. I teach the kids in my upper level thermo class how to calculate it for certain types of systems (like the two-state system, Einstein solids and the ideal gas).
Yes, a planetary system has less entropy than a random collection of objects floating in space. And yes, a raindrop has less entropy than the water vapor it condensed from. Both represent subsystems within a larger system for which the entropy has decreased.
And neither represents a violation of the Second Law of Thermo (see by post above).
planetary systems, refrigerators, ect... All sysems where the entropy decline is due to being acted upon by a separate system. Try to keep up.
acting in the formation of a planetary system? Try to keep up consistency.
Here read this and get back to me.
While there is nothing specific about the formation of planetary system in that section the money quote here is:
Since entropy is a statistical concept, short term fluctuations in small systems can allow entropy to decrease.
This is THE argument against the line of thought that evolution and thermodynamics together form an inconsistent theory. That order arises out of disorder (if both terms are defined with respect to entropy) is not impossible.
And it answers your question directly:
"This is thought to be more or less the case for the Universe or for any representative piece of the Universe that expands or contracts in the same way the Universe does. The vast majority of the entropy of the Universe is in the cosmic microwave background radiation because the vast majority of particles in the Universe are the photons of the CMB. As the Universe expands, the temperature of the radiation drops to maintain constant entropy. If the Universe were to collapse at some point, the radiation would heat back up to maintain constant entropy."
Short term fluctuation are just that, temporary, as are planetary systems. The universe as a whole is still acting on them. And if taken in context that this may not be the only universe, or that the universe is not the whole of creation, then certainly other systems are increasing in entropy.
Order never arises out of disorder, but disorder can sometimes be slowed down.
You're still basing your assertions on things that have order in the first place.
indeed, as you think repetition is a substitute for arguing. You have shown that. Still I'd like to know how you define the words order and disorder. As you don't seem to know much about entropy perhaps you have another way of defining it? And how can you "slow down disorder"? Doesn't make much sense.
Nothing I can do will help you.
I wasn't asking what the difference between these words is but for the meaning of them. I'll make it even easier for you. Just give me a definition of one of them that doesn't invoke the other and I'll be able to see whether your statement holds water.
Where did you learn to chicken out like that?
is like trying to pick a turd up by the clean end.
feel free to jump off a 50 story building and ponder mankind's invention called gravity on your way down.
between the law(s) of gravity (generalized mathematical model(s) that describe what we perceive everyday) and gravity itself (something observed too often to take your proposal seriously).
that you're a skeevy little perv I won't engage with any gravity.
As proven by your 9:48 am comment. And, btw, the plural in your tagline is unwarranted.
Was enough. Now you'll be ignored or mocked. If you want to do anything other than troll, make your own thread and I'll mock you there.
Troll on, creepy little man.
„Ick bün al dor!“
iz bloodcuzzerdtroggiz. iz merkel kip it quietenz. iz watchenz teh womanz trolljegerenz esmack trolliz senselesses. iz merkel laff at bloodcuzzertroggiz. no poop on floor for respectinz womanz trolljegerenz. iz want sum mitloafen? iz got plentee.
should try to harass those you actually want to harass. In other words: Find the right reply button.
iz kno kan trolliz rid dis? Ha iz sez iz merkel. iz prollum unnerstann foneticallee? iz merkel iz fallenz down unt flor rolliz is dirtiz butt pop pop pop goiz butt. iz hungriz naw. iz get mitloafen sammichez. iz bie bie luzer sez unt merkel. dummazz. Ha! iz merkel askenz how iz azz tastinz naw?
The entropy of a system increases, or at best remains the same, unless acted upon by another system. I believe this is the gist of the second law.
If you start with disorder, the second law dictates that unless acted upon by another system, disorder will not only continue, but increase.
Yup, I think you've nailed it Bru. Now if MB can keep up with all this science stuff, perhaps she will be able to once again engage.
(I still don't think she realizes she's stepped out of an evolution debate and into a creation one).
The way you worded it is, I think, a bit unclear - or at least glosses over an important detail.
For an isolated system, the entropy of the entire system will increase (or stay the same) over time.
However, the entropy of a subsystem within that system can decrease - it's just that the entropy of the rest of the system will increase to make up for it so the overall entropy of the entire system increases.
If you consider the universe an isolated system which started with something like the Big Bang, then it actually started in a state with no entropy (since it existed in a single state). In other words, it started in the most ordered state you can have.
After the Big Bang, entropy began to increase, over all, but it decreased within some of its subsystems. As a result of you can have atoms, molecules, stars, galaxies, planetary systems and life - all representing ordered subsystems - without violating the second law since the entropy associated with all the interstellar matter and radiation more than makes up for it.
But that, of course, assumes you can apply the Second Law to the entire universe - there's some debate about that.
I am trying to hold one discussion with now three people, all of whom have different beliefs, so you'll have to excuse me if I get things mixed up a little.
I am not a physicist or an astronomer, so I don't know much about the beginning of the universe. That is indeed a different question than the question of evolution, so maybe we should tackle one subject at a time!
spinsterbear the diaper troll: I am trying to hold one discussion with now three people...
Spit out the gum troll, it migh.... Whoops. Pick your own self up off the sidewalk, I ain't touching you. Touching troll skin gives me the willies.
Poor butt hurt troll has to talk to 3 people. Sniff. Sniff. My. My. Meatspace must really be tough. No wonder it loves it here so much.
You fill those diapers because I rarely read your posts. Then shove your hand in there, get to scratching, and whine some more because I told you I rarely read your posts. But wait, I responded to you with a heavy dose of insults so you fill those diapers again and whine that you can't know when I will chose to ignore you again.
Damn. You have problems communicating with monkeypeople in cyberspace. Lord knows the numerous trevails that meet you in meatspace. Must be hard on a sucktroll like you out there in meatspace. Too bad I really really really don't care.
Now fill those diapers again because I told you a conversation was over and.....
START QUOTING THE VET AGAIN!
Lonely idiot still whining because I told it the conversation was over 2 weeks ago.
Oh I don't care when you start pretending to ignore me. I was just suggesting that you do it right now and save yourself the trouble of responding to someone so completely worthless that you don't even read the posts you are responding to.
Whinebear strikes again. I was recently pounding four liberals all by my little lonesome on one FB thread and the odds were still in my favor, as I pointed out.
"I realize that at 1 to 3.5 I have you all surrounded, outnumbered, outwitted, and hopelessly outclassed"
Liberals are so humorless.
And you make it look so easy, no wonder they're frustrated.
might have something to do with their frustration, too. :-D
So, how long until you insist we aren't exchanging words? Three posts? Two? Want to do it now?
I think you are confusing the evolution argument with the creation argument. You seem to be of the opinion that religion denies science. We see it as the other way around.
No true believer I know is the least bit intimidated by evolution. I only take issue with a single source. Seems to me much more likely one event may have produced multiple sources.
Isn't it always interesting to face the other side of the argument and discover that they are feeling attacked the same as you?
Like I said, I see it the other way around. I've never told anyone what to teach in their church. I have had people try to tell me what to teach in my classroom. I have never told a student not to believe in God, or that evolution replaces God, or any other ridiculous thing. I don't know any teachers who have. But I have had parents try to tell me I'm lying when I say that dogs and humans have been evolving together for 10,000 years, because the world is only 6,000 years old. If you believe that, of course you feel threatened by evolution!
It is important to keep in mind in these debates that they always tend towards the extremes. There are lots of reasonable religious people like you out there who see evolution and religion as perfectly compatible. But they aren't the ones trying to put warning labels on textbooks.
There is nothing so dangerous as something written solely to educate.
It is typical of our time that the more doubtful we are about the value of philosophy, the more certain we are about the value of education. That is to say, the more doubtful we are about whether we have any truth, the more certain we are (apparently) that we can teach it to our children." — G.K. Chesterton
I'm curious why you think educational texts are dangerous.
Textbooks tell people what to think. Philosophy teaches people how to think.
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