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Re: "Evolution" in sci-fi
Date: 6/3/13 11:40 am
In Response To: Re: "Evolution" in sci-fi (SEspider)

I try to avoid getting into discussions about the factuality of Evolution on teh interwebs because OMGURWRONG is everywhere. And not just between "religious" folk and "science" folk. There is argument even between people holding to Evolutionary sciences. Anyhow...

: "Evolution" is NOT a "well-established fact of nature" at all.

Define "fact". Define "nature". Define "established" ;)
Even by the responses to your comment above, there's some lack of clarity...
There are observable, repeatable, demonstratable facts. But for anyone coming from the context of naturalism, there is only one explanation - and that makes Evolution a "scientific fact"; that is, the best and only accepted explanation for observations - an interpretation of those observations making them evidence for that phenomenon. And so to those people, Evolution is Fact. There is no other possible explanation, therefore anyone who interprets the facts in a different context (ie, non-naturalistic) are out of their mind, bat$hit crazy religious fanatics. And within that grand theory of Evolution, there are and always will be a scientific 'honing' of details, via new observations which adjust and sharpen the theory allowing for it to remain fact - that is to say, Evolution is already presupposed to be truth, and so any observation made will always be interpreted to better support that axiom.
So to uniformitarian naturalists (everything in the past is and has always worked exactly as we test and experiment through observation in science today) Evolution is indisputable Fact - even though we don't know or agree on the full details.

But the only "well established facts" (seems redundant, yes?) are those which have been observed and can be repeated. For example, natural selection is a "well established fact" as it can be observed within groups of animals; those with genetic variations that are more beneficial in a certain context will outlive others and most likely pass those genetic traits to their offspring; survival of the fittest. To naturalists, this is evidence interpreted to support Evolution as an observable fact. There's also speciation --

: That is if you are speaking of cross species evolving. There is no
: evidence of it.

Actually speciation has occurred. That is, through mutation and genetic drift there can be sufficient alteration to make one organism genetically incompatible with another. But that grouping is result of the human-built constructs and definitions of which 'species' is one term. As you later say, you believe animals essentially have changed among certain 'kinds' of animals ("Wolf to Pitbull, Lion to house Cat", eg) which would be an example of species drift within a kind (dogs, cats, etc).
Speciation though isn't enough of a genetic change to produce traits in animals that hadn't already existed, though suppressed or locked down - speciation is in short simply the definition for the line that separates organisms based on their ability to produce fertile offspring with each other.

: The ONLY "evolution" I believe in is the change of a species to
: it's own. Wolf to Pitbull, Lion to house Cat. Lizard to different lizard
: colors (because those that stood out were eaten). NOT Dinosaur to Chicken,
: or Monkey to Human. Just because there are similarities between species,
: that does NOT mean they are related nor that they came from one another.

And on the grander scale, now many evolutionists will say that it doesn't matter. "Ancestors" may still exist today because they themselves didn't evolve, but other animals branched off from them long ago producing animals which also exist today. The best example of that is the ape existing alongside humans. Many state we no longer evolved "from" ape, but the ape continued to exist while we branched off, evolved from them. Basically both our and the apes' common ancestor is... ape. Of course, there are other evolutionists who still hold to common ancestry.
There is still much disagreement over the details of evolution, and yet evolution itself (all life over millions of years, from somewhere to here) is still considered fact.


Now speaking for myself, I absolutely love science fiction, even science fiction which plays with Evolution. And I'm sort of happy that this article has shown cultural understanding of the big E for what it is. It's glorified and twisted science for the purpose of entertainment, and in a way it's what's causing so much disagreement and argumentation in the scientific community (well, in our culture, and teh interwebs). When hoaxes and bad science like Piltdown Man and Lucy and horse evolution and peppered moths and archaeopteryx (not a forgery, but a bird, not a feathered dinosaur) are still referenced or even taught in public science text books* as evidence for Evolution (as opposed to perhaps interesting observations in biology, when not falsehoods), there will be a huge range of opinions and debates in All Of The Places.

I was even chuckling often as I skimmed the comments on the article as well... some say it's only the religious fools who deny evolution, or certain scientific facts, and that there is no disagreement about evolution. Then later someone states the fact that there is no 'pinnacle' or direction to the evolutionary process, there is no end; yet later someone states the fact that sharks can't evolve more because they've reached 'perfection', or there is indeed direction because going even just back over already-trodden paths (devolution) is reversing direction... and other such contrary 'facts' states by people with varying understandings of the theory of evolution (whether having been taught that way or trying to understand things themselves), not even in the same discussion threads. Of course, these aren't professional scientists, but that demonstrates two things: cultural/mainstream understanding of evolutionary theory, and/or bad or out of date teaching.

Point being, useless debates about Evolution involve A) 'Naturalists' vs 'Religious' (both holding firm convictions about the nature of the universe, neither of which can be 'scientifically proven', and both of whom hold firm to their worldviews), B) Professional/accredited scientists vs cultural scientists (those who observe and report on first hand experimentation vs those who observe and report through the grapevine), C) out of date elements still being taught / shared as current, inciting heated arguments.

Science fiction is fun. It's fun to imagine, to predict, to theorize, to explore philosophical/political/moral issues through safer analogy, and really just to fantasize. In science, one should let science fiction inspire scientific study and experimentation (as Star Trek did, for example, with development of newer technologies, all thanks to Shatner who changed the world :P) for the betterment of mankind; and to let science inspire science fiction creativity, whether simply to entertain, or to contemplate and teach.

This IO9 article, as soon as I saw the title - I knew it would erupt in a chaotic blast of opinions and arguments and debates in the comments section all over the spectrum :) It's inevitable today! Simply inevitable. People are passionate about things dear to their heart, things with which they identify and make part of the very fiber of their being. "What, you disagree with this? Then you disagree with me, and you're implying I'm a fool for thinking or believing it! Therefore -

Can't we all just get along?

PS. I'm not here to debate. I know this post will incite responses. I purposely didn't say anyone was "wrong", but obviously there's the implication that people, on both sides, think they're "right". Whatever. We all love Halo, and we all (presumably) love science, so let's just enjoy Halo, and keep exploring the universe of possibilities... because science! :)
PPS. SESpider, if you haven't read it already, you might find this article interesting.


Finally, also on topic, I commented a while back on the Librarian's dialogue regarding evolution and the chief... confused at best /:) Definitely a reference to evolution for entertainment's sake, and I echo the sentiments expressed by others in this thread about her meaning and its use. blah

Messages In This Thread

"Evolution" in sci-fiDervish5/31/13 3:29 pm
     Re: "Evolution" in sci-fipadraig085/31/13 4:49 pm
           Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiDervish5/31/13 6:05 pm
                 It's not sci-fi, it's the Victorians.Leviathan6/1/13 11:48 am
     Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiscarab5/31/13 7:57 pm
           Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiQuirel5/31/13 10:24 pm
                 Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiGeneral Vagueness6/1/13 2:20 am
                 Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiscarab6/1/13 4:17 am
                       Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiQuirel6/3/13 1:33 am
                             Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiCHa0s6/4/13 2:43 am
                                   Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiGeneral Vagueness6/6/13 12:15 am
                                         Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiGeneral Vagueness6/6/13 12:40 am
                       Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiGeneral Vagueness6/5/13 11:24 pm
     Agreed *NM*RC Master5/31/13 7:59 pm
     Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiscarab5/31/13 8:03 pm
           Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiSEspider5/31/13 8:41 pm
     Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiSEspider5/31/13 8:32 pm
           Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiStephen L. (SoundEffect)5/31/13 8:50 pm
                 This *NM*CHa0s6/1/13 11:32 am
                 Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiCody Miller6/2/13 4:24 pm
                       Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiStephen L. (SoundEffect)6/2/13 4:47 pm
           Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiDervish5/31/13 9:55 pm
           Wow...RC Master6/1/13 9:13 am
                 Re: Wow...scarab6/1/13 11:03 am
           Re: "Evolution" in sci-fithebruce06/3/13 11:40 am
                 Smells like a logical fallacyscarab6/3/13 4:36 pm
                       Re: Smells like a logical fallacyscarab6/3/13 5:12 pm
                             Re: Smells like a logical fallacyMacGyver106/3/13 5:58 pm
                       Re: Smells like a logical fallacythebruce06/3/13 6:00 pm
                             Re: Smells like a logical fallacyuberfoop6/3/13 6:07 pm
                                   Re: Smells like a logical fallacythebruce06/3/13 8:08 pm
     Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiQuirel5/31/13 11:10 pm
     Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiAndrewSS026/1/13 4:43 am
           Re: "Evolution" in sci-fi *NM*AndrewSS026/1/13 4:49 am
           Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiscarab6/1/13 5:52 am
     Re: "Evolution" in sci-fiCHa0s6/1/13 12:06 pm
     I would like to emphasize the "sci-fi"serpx6/1/13 12:44 pm
           This :) *NM*thebruce06/3/13 11:52 am
           Re: I would like to emphasize the "sci-fi"Quirel6/4/13 1:35 am
                 Re: I would like to emphasize the "sci-fi"scarab6/4/13 1:41 pm
     A couple of partial defensesArithmomaniac6/2/13 1:02 pm
           Re: A couple of partial defensesRC Master6/2/13 4:00 pm
                 Re: A couple of partial defensesCody Miller6/2/13 4:19 pm
                 Re: A couple of partial defensesArithmomaniac6/2/13 7:38 pm
           Re: A couple of partial defensesCody Miller6/2/13 4:17 pm
                 Re: A couple of partial defensesGrimmire6/4/13 6:22 am
                       Re: A couple of partial defensesthebruce06/4/13 9:44 am
                       Re: A couple of partial defensesGeneral Vagueness6/6/13 12:38 am
     He added his email in the genome?!?CHa0s6/5/13 11:50 am

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