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Annotating Regi Firehammer's essay on Evolution

I am intrigued by Regi Firehammer's article on Evolution, which is published at USAbig.com. With his permission, I have re-published it at my website with my annotations, suggestions and notes. I will keep this blog entry locked until I have finished the first set of notes. Below is the essay as it stands.

-- here is my annotated version as published. My work is incomplete now mostly complete, although the frame will 'update' if the work proceeds and I revise the file. Thanks, Regi, for the opportunity to reason. The direct link to the file is http://wsscherk.hostingmyself.com/0SCRN-CPZ/FirehammerOnEvolutionRevised.html

 



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Not one thing evolution asserts can be tested.

Not one thing evolution asserts can be demonstrated.

Since there are no tests for anything evolution asserts, they obviously cannot be repeated.

No assertion of evolution can be used to predict anything.

Evolution does not meet a single criteria [sic] for objective science.


 

What a nonsense. According to these criteria astronomy wouldn't be an objective science either.

 

Quote

 

While fossils, some aspects paleontology, and DNA exist and can be studied objectively (and are), they are only physical evidence of what is, not how it got here.”


 

The same can be said of the stars, astronomers can only observe some photons arriving on earth. We can’t directly observe the evolution of a star, so the theories about such stellar evolution aren’t objective science either?

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There seems to be a fallacy in that a hypothesis is self refuting if it can't be tested into a theory. No, it simply sits there as a point of reference absent contrary evidence.

Also, while there is no explanation yet as to how DNA came into existence--DNA is incredibly complex--that's no refutation of what happened consequently. Not yet, anyway.

The basic idea behind science is most reasonable explanation of data--not confirmation by experiment. That's actually refutable theory. All valid theories are theoretically refutable and tentative. The absoluteness is actual refutation by repeatable experiment, not confirmation. If this wasn't true geology could not be considered a science. Geology isn't much open to experiment nor is the idea that a giant impact of an extra-terrestrial object caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and the rise of mammals.

Etc.

The author's ideas seem to work best for physics and chemistry. The real confirmation though is what works directed by valid but refutable theory. But what works doesn't mean that theory can't be replaced by a better one as long as the new theory minimally explains too what works.

--Brant

you don't refute Einstein--you replace him (if you can)

you don't refute gravity--you replace it (if you can)

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4 hours ago, regi said:

Thank you again for the comments and suggestions.

You are most welcome. It was fun for me to explore my own understandings and confusions. I do hope you read or re-read Origin of Species ... and here I add a quite intriguing bit of Darwinalia ...

The evolution of emotion: Charles Darwin's little-known psychology experiment
By Ferris Jabr on May 24, 2010

Darwin conducted one of the first studies on how people recognize emotion in faces, according to new archival research by Peter Snyder, a neuroscientist at Brown University. Snyder's findings rely on biographical documents never before published; they now appear in the May issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. 

The best part of annotating your article was discovering 'new to me' aspects of evolutionary theory ... one of which I referenced in my final note: Horizontal Gene Transfer. The most important of my points or questions to you could be summed up as "What parts of evolutionary theory do you find (most) plausible?" That would be interesting for me to discover ...

For others who are willing to give Evolution a chance as an explanation ... here is a brief video on the subject. It isolates what I think is the essentials of 'evolution' defined loosely, Change over time ...

One final point:  I think you would benefit from the Principle of Charity as it is used in discussion (as well as being more liberal with inline references). In a nutshell --  as I understand it -- the Principle of Charity suggests that in discussion/exchanges/debate, one serves understanding by describing the "opponent's" (or interlocutor's) argument at its strongest. See also 'Steelmanning' (I will include a link here later to some discussion at OL of both terms) ... 

 

Edited by william.scherk

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Just a question.

If we are going to discuss evolution, why are Kent Hovind video lectures and debates not permitted on OL?

Is it because he is a Christian and believes the creation story in Genesis? But in his lectures and debates he does not use that and instead sticks to science. He had many debates with evolutionists and so far as I know he kicked ass every time. Are you all gonna let him get away with his BS?

I don't believe in God and I have little or no use for the Bible and I don't believe in the creation story. When I listen to Kent Hovind, I filter out everything to do with Bible and religion. I can filter out his Bible thumping; maybe some people can't do that.

Perhaps Kent Hovind presents the case against evolution too strongly for rational people to handle.

His problems with the law and all that are irrelevant to the discussion about evolution and do not need to be brought into the discussion about evolution..

 

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6 minutes ago, jts said:

[Are] Kent Hovind video lectures and debates not permitted on OL?

No. I am quite sure you can post a Kent Hovind video to the Front Porch. Go ahead and test my assumption.

However, just to be contrary and bossy, please do not post any Kent Hovind videos here ... before you comment on the OT or the following replies ... doing so is FORBIDDEN on my blog. :o

Who is Kent Hovind?

Edited by william.scherk

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3 hours ago, william.scherk said:

No. I am quite sure you can post a Kent Hovind video to the Front Porch. Go ahead and test my assumption.

I did test your assumption a long time ago and the boss put it in the garbage.

 

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I like the idea of mutation but consider it part of evolution, or--evolution through mutation. Most species, of course, have "evolved" into extinction.

It seems Rand was dubious about evolution: "I'm not prepared to say." (N. Branden)

--Brant

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5 hours ago, william.scherk said:

You are most welcome. It was fun for me to explore my own understandings and confusions. I do hope you read or re-read Origin of Species ... and here I add a quite intriguing bit of Darwinalia ...

The evolution of emotion: Charles Darwin's little-known psychology experiment
By Ferris Jabr on May 24, 2010

Darwin conducted one of the first studies on how people recognize emotion in faces, according to new archival research by Peter Snyder, a neuroscientist at Brown University. Snyder's findings rely on biographical documents never before published; they now appear in the May issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. 

The best part of annotating your article was discovering 'new to me' aspects of evolutionary theory ... one of which I referenced in my final note: Horizontal Gene Transfer. The most important of my points or questions to you could be summed up as "What parts of evolutionary theory do you find (most) plausible?" That would be interesting for me to discover ...

For others who are willing to give Evolution a chance as an explanation ... here is a brief video on the subject. It isolates what I think is the essentials of 'evolution' defined loosely, Change over time ...

One final point:  I think you would benefit from the Principle of Charity as it is used in discussion (as well as being more liberal with inline references). In a nutshell --  as I understand it -- the Principle of Charity suggests that in discussion/exchanges/debate, one serves understanding by describing the "opponent's" (or interlocutor's) argument at its strongest. See also 'Steelmanning' (I will include a link here later to some discussion at OL of both terms) ... 

 

The vid. seems to use evolution as a descriptive, not a causal, agent. Now "mutation" seems much more powerful.

--Brant

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1 hour ago, jts said:

I did test your assumption a long time ago and the boss put it in the garbage

Thanks, Jerry, I didn't know that forgot about that. I do wonder why that happened. The reason stated for putting the thread in Garbage Pile was the best clue to why that happened.

If you don't have anything to say about Regi's essay or my annotations ... 

For reference:

 

Edited by william.scherk

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The problem wasn't in discussing this dude.

The problem was the preaching approach and flying it under a headline that stated agreeing with evolution was stupid.

Oh, wait!

I actually said that in the thread way back when. 

:) 

For the record, if it had been Kant or even Peikoff, it would have been thrown into the Garbage Pike if that had been the approach.

But just for fun, I tried to watch the video of the dude in this thread. I could only get through a couple of minutes. He sounded an awful lot like an auctioneer at a cattle show. :) 

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

But just for fun, I tried to watch the video of the dude in this thread. I could only get through a couple of minutes. He sounded an awful lot like an auctioneer at a cattle show. :) 

I stopped at 31 seconds with the jar of dirt analogy :lol:

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