Revised tautology FAQ finally up.

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Friar Broccoli

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Oct 12, 2012, 2:18:58 PM10/12/12
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http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html

If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.

--
Friar Broccoli (Robert Keith Elias), Quebec Canada
I consider ALL arguments in support of my views

air

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Oct 12, 2012, 7:31:02 PM10/12/12
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I would suggest amending the phrase
"The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may
be formally defined as tautologies, accurately describe real world
events, consequently not all tautologies are bad."

perhaps" ....not all tautologies are free of explanatory power."

Air

John S. Wilkins

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Oct 12, 2012, 7:57:41 PM10/12/12
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The question is not whether mathematical tautologies are good or bad,
but whether (as logical assertions) they happen to describe some of the
world, and when.
--
John S. Wilkins, Associate, Philosophy, University of Sydney
http://evolvingthoughts.net
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre

Friar Broccoli

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Oct 12, 2012, 10:00:28 PM10/12/12
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On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:31:02 -0700 (PDT), air <airbo...@gmail.com>
wrote:

>On 12 Oct, 14:19, Friar Broccoli <elia...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
>>
>> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.

.

>I would suggest amending the phrase
>"The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may
>be formally defined as tautologies, accurately describe real world
>events, consequently not all tautologies are bad."
>
>perhaps" ....not all tautologies are free of explanatory power."

The word "bad" here - is sloppy and makes no point on its own. It was
intended to refer back to and encapsulate "accurately describe real
world events".

I will think about it for a day or two - and watch for other comments,
but it seems to me that your "free of explanatory power" is a fancy way
of saying "empty" so I may just replace "bad" with "empty".

I think "empty" is better because it obviously refers back to the main
idea, while having a simple independent meaning.

Thanks for reviewing the text and your comment.

Glenn

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Oct 12, 2012, 10:09:13 PM10/12/12
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"Friar Broccoli" <eli...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:e5gh78h6n6f5e2qia...@4ax.com...
> On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:31:02 -0700 (PDT), air <airbo...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >On 12 Oct, 14:19, Friar Broccoli <elia...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
> >>
> >> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.
>
> .
>
> >I would suggest amending the phrase
> >"The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may
> >be formally defined as tautologies, accurately describe real world
> >events, consequently not all tautologies are bad."
> >
> >perhaps" ....not all tautologies are free of explanatory power."
>
> The word "bad" here - is sloppy and makes no point on its own. It was
> intended to refer back to and encapsulate "accurately describe real
> world events".
>
> I will think about it for a day or two - and watch for other comments,
> but it seems to me that your "free of explanatory power" is a fancy way
> of saying "empty" so I may just replace "bad" with "empty".
>
If you dislike claiming "free" or "without explanatory power, and just
considering what single word to replace "bad" with, I suggest "naughty". The
tautologies that are not "bad" are better described as "nice" rather than
"good".


Friar Broccoli

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Oct 12, 2012, 10:29:37 PM10/12/12
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A good point. It would be nice to remove the naughty "not ... free" and
go with:

"... consequently some tautologies have explanatory power."

Glenn

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Oct 12, 2012, 10:36:27 PM10/12/12
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"Friar Broccoli" <eli...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:m3kh781ufe6crurh7...@4ax.com...
Which of course leaves the question of whether that is naughty or nice
unresolved.


Friar Broccoli

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Oct 12, 2012, 11:32:55 PM10/12/12
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On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 19:36:27 -0700, "Glenn"
Yes, that is the question!
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream;

Aye, there's the rub!!!

Glenn

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Oct 13, 2012, 12:17:56 AM10/13/12
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"Friar Broccoli" <eli...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:v0oh78h3a9snsit5v...@4ax.com...
What, no flowers?


Mitchell Coffey

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Oct 13, 2012, 3:12:21 AM10/13/12
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On Friday, October 12, 2012 10:04:12 PM UTC-4, Friar Broccoli wrote:
> On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:31:02 -0700 (PDT), air <airbo...@gmail.com>
>
> wrote:
>
>
>
> >On 12 Oct, 14:19, Friar Broccoli <elia...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
>
> >>
>
> >> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.
>
>
>
> .
>
>
>
> >I would suggest amending the phrase
>
> >"The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may
>
> >be formally defined as tautologies, accurately describe real world
>
> >events, consequently not all tautologies are bad."
>
> >
>
> >perhaps" ....not all tautologies are free of explanatory power."
>
>
>
> The word "bad" here - is sloppy and makes no point on its own. It was
>
> intended to refer back to and encapsulate "accurately describe real
>
> world events".
>
>
>
> I will think about it for a day or two - and watch for other comments,
>
> but it seems to me that your "free of explanatory power" is a fancy way
>
> of saying "empty" so I may just replace "bad" with "empty".
>
> I think "empty" is better because it obviously refers back to the main
> idea, while having a simple independent meaning.
[snip]

I think "free of explanatory power" is better because, fancy or not, it actually tells people what the heck you mean. I note, that the FAQ refers to "empty" as a property of both tautologies and "wording," which is itself confusing without further explanation, while never directly defining what "empty" in context means. It certainly gives one opportunity of guess, and possibly enough information, but this is not a ideal solution in a FAQ. I propose the FAQ define "empty" as "free of explanatory power," if that is indeed correct, in it's first paragraph.

I also suggest that the usage "empty wording" in the second paragraph be firmly booted, and replaced by "empty tautology" or perhaps just "empty," if that suffices. I further warn against "meaningless empty tautology" in the first paragraph, as it is an abomination. Look, I suspect that nothing more than "empty tautology" is truly meant there, and though my inexpert suspicion is that empty tautologies as a class do tend to the meaningless, even more inexpert readers are liable to spy that "meaningless" there and nervously worry that it is there not to decorate, but to add some additional spot of meaning, if only for irony's sake.

Mitchell Coffey

Mitchell Coffey

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Oct 13, 2012, 3:13:37 AM10/13/12
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On Friday, October 12, 2012 2:19:14 PM UTC-4, Friar Broccoli wrote:
> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
>
>
>
> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.

Surely you've passed it by backspace for comment...

Mitchell Coffey

Stephen

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Oct 13, 2012, 8:00:54 AM10/13/12
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I like this one best of the suggested alternatives.

S

--

Nick Keighley

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Oct 13, 2012, 9:06:14 AM10/13/12
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On Oct 13, 3:04 am, Friar Broccoli <elia...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:31:02 -0700 (PDT), air <airbowl...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >On 12 Oct, 14:19, Friar Broccoli <elia...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
>
> >> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.
>
>  .
>
> >I would suggest amending the phrase
> >"The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may
> >be formally defined as tautologies, accurately describe real world
> >events, consequently not all tautologies are bad."
>
> >perhaps" ....not all tautologies are free of explanatory power."
>
> The word "bad" here - is sloppy and makes no point on its own.   It was
> intended to refer back to and encapsulate "accurately describe real
> world events".
>
> I will think about it for a day or two - and watch for other comments,
> but it seems to me that your "free of explanatory power" is a fancy way
> of saying "empty" so I may just replace "bad" with "empty".
>
> I think "empty" is better because it obviously refers back to the main
> idea, while having a simple independent meaning.
>
> Thanks for reviewing the text and your comment.

If I saw "....not all tautologies are empty." I'd wonder "empty of
what?"

Walter Bushell

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Oct 13, 2012, 9:18:02 AM10/13/12
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In article <1krwgu3.1yu2fz1u9si6aN%jo...@wilkins.id.au>,
jo...@wilkins.id.au (John S. Wilkins) wrote:

> air <airbo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On 12 Oct, 14:19, Friar Broccoli <elia...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
> > >
> > > If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Friar Broccoli (Robert Keith Elias), Quebec Canada
> > > I consider ALL arguments in support of my views
> >
> > I would suggest amending the phrase
> > "The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may
> > be formally defined as tautologies, accurately describe real world
> > events, consequently not all tautologies are bad."
> >
> > perhaps" ....not all tautologies are free of explanatory power."
> >
> > Air
>
> The question is not whether mathematical tautologies are good or bad,
> but whether (as logical assertions) they happen to describe some of the
> world, and when.

Mathematics itself does not describe any real world phenomenon, but
allows for the derivation of the logical results of our thoughts about
the phenomenal world. For example, if we assume the existence of the
luminous aether we can use mathematics to deduce the consequences of
that.

--
This space unintentionally left blank.

jonathan

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Oct 13, 2012, 9:42:26 AM10/13/12
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"John S. Wilkins" <jo...@wilkins.id.au> wrote in message
news:1krwgu3.1yu2fz1u9si6aN%jo...@wilkins.id.au...
> air <airbo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>

> The question is not whether mathematical tautologies are good or bad,
> but whether (as logical assertions) they happen to describe some of the
> world, and when.


The whole problem is the assumption that natural selection
is the primary source of the final product. It's not! This
statement from the posted faq misses the relationship
between randomness and evolution in a fundamental way.

From the posted Faq...

"Sometimes survival isn't determined by fitness"

"Another problem with Coulter's argument is that it sets up full
equivalence between survival and fitness. "Who are the "fittest"?
The ones who survive! Why look - it happens every time!"
(emphasis added). If that were true, then all differential survival
would necessarily be selection. But we have a name for differential
survival that isn't selection; it is called drift (basically, changes in a
population's gene pool due to chance). And in fact we can often
perform tests that distinguish selection from drift. We couldn't
do that if selection were just "those that survive survive"."


The newer field of self organizing systems shows a completely
different view of the relationship between selection and evolution.
Randomness leads to ...self-organization, not drift. Self organizing
systems take on a 'life of it's own', and the processes of evolution
become mostly...internal. The external forces of selection
become secondary.

The fittest do not always survive. Small adaptive improvements
can be ignored almost indefinitely as it takes a large step to
change a self organized system.

Self-Organizing Faq

"4.1 Isn't this just the same as selection ?"

"No, selection is a choice between competing options such that
one arrangement is preferred over another with reference to
some external criteria - this represents a choice between two stable
systems in state space. In self-organization there is only one system
which internally restricts the area of state space it occupies. In essence
the system moves to an attractor that covers only a small area of
state space, a dynamic pattern of expression that can persist even
in the face of mutation and opposing selective forces. Alternative
stable options are each self-organized attractors and selection may
then choose between them based upon their emergent phenotypic
properties."
http://calresco.org/sos/sosfaq.htm


Hence, reality is the result of a natural tautology, as an iterative
loop is dependent mostly upon itself~


"The main current scientific theory related to self-organization is
Complexity Theory, which states:"

"Critically interacting components self-organize to form potentially
evolving structures exhibiting a hierarchy of emergent system properties."


Jonathan


"Growth of Man like Growth of Nature
Gravitates within
Atmosphere, and Sun endorse it
Bit it stir alone

Each its difficult Ideal
Must achieve Itself
Through the solitary prowess
Of a Silent Life

Effort is the sole condition
Patience of Itself
Patience of opposing forces
And intact Belief

Looking on is the Department
Of its Audience
But Transaction is assisted
By no Countenance"


By E Dickinson (1830-1886)


s

jonathan

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Oct 13, 2012, 10:32:35 AM10/13/12
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"Walter Bushell" <pr...@panix.com> wrote in message
news:proto-A1658C....@news.panix.com...
But there is a relationship between reality and the use of
mathematics.


"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain,
as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

~ Albert Einstein



So how do we solve that contradiction?




s

backspace

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Oct 13, 2012, 10:34:22 AM10/13/12
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We all have a property we call life that makes us aware of ourselves, but life itself isn't defined in materialism. In what way would we possess a property 'fitness' that enables life?

John Harshman

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Oct 13, 2012, 12:10:06 PM10/13/12
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On 10/13/12 7:34 AM, backspace wrote:
> We all have a property we call life that makes us aware of ourselves,
> but life itself isn't defined in materialism. In what way would we
> possess a property 'fitness' that enables life?
>
This is the post as backspace sees it:

We all have a property we call qzxl that makes us aware of ourselves,
but qzxl itself isn't defined in smzobtigl. In what way would we possess
a property 'potrzebie' that enables qzxl?


RAM

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Oct 13, 2012, 12:28:45 PM10/13/12
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Could it be backspace's intellectual qzxl lacks potrzebie?

Bob Casanova

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Oct 13, 2012, 1:59:20 PM10/13/12
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On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 07:34:22 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:

<snip>

>We all have a property we call life that makes us aware of ourselves, but life itself isn't defined in materialism. In what way would we possess a property 'fitness' that enables life?

Drool much?
--

Bob C.

"Evidence confirming an observation is
evidence that the observation is wrong."

- McNameless

John Harshman

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Oct 13, 2012, 3:25:30 PM10/13/12
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Kltpzyxm.

Stephen

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Oct 13, 2012, 10:56:42 PM10/13/12
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Friar Broccoli wrote:

>
> Yes, that is the question!
> Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
> The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
> Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
> And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
> No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
> The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
> That Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation
> Devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep,
> To sleep, perchance to Dream;
>
> Aye, there's the rub!!!

Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented: sometimes am I king;
Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king'd again: and by and by
Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing: but whate'er I be,
Nor I nor any man that but man is
With nothing shall be pleased, till he be eased
With being nothing.


--

William Morse

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Oct 13, 2012, 11:58:16 PM10/13/12
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On 10/12/2012 02:18 PM, Friar Broccoli wrote:
>
> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
>
> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.


I like it. Did you consider adding a reference to this:

"John Maynard Smith once remarked, any theory involving two lines of
algebra will contain tautologies"

I remember reading this in print and I found it on a web site but I have
no original reference.

backspace

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Oct 14, 2012, 12:30:51 AM10/14/12
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Wallace: "....My dear Darwin,— I have been so repeatedly struck by the utter inability of number of intelligent persons to see clearly, or at all, the self-acting and necessary effects of Natural Selection, that I am led to conclude that the term itself, and your mode of illustrating it however beautiful to many of us, are yet not the best adapted to impress it on the general naturalistic public...I think [the difficulty in understanding] arises almost entirely from your choice of the term Natural Selection, and so constantly comparing it in its effects to man's selection, and also to your so frequently personifying nature as 'selecting', as 'preferring', 'as seeking only the good of the species', etc., etc. To the few this is as clear as daylight, and beautifully suggestive, but to many it is evidently a stumbling block....I wish, therefore to suggest to you the possibility of entirely avoiding this source of misconception in your great work (if now not too late)...by adopting Spencer's term viz. 'Survival

of the Fittest'. This term is a plain expression of the fact; 'Natural Selection' is a metaphorical expression of it, and to a certain degree indirect and incorrect, since, even personifying Nature, she does not so much select special variations as exterminate the most unfavourable ones. ..." "....even personifying Nature, she does not so much select special variations as exterminate the most unfavourable ones. ..."


Notes Edit
Other than noting that certain variations were exterminated how was their unfavorability measured by Wallace ?

Mitchell Coffey

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Oct 14, 2012, 12:45:51 AM10/14/12
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Why are you asking me this? And for the record, I count three, maybe four, fallacies in backspace's post. Does anyone count more?

Mitchell Coffey

John S. Wilkins

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Oct 14, 2012, 2:32:08 AM10/14/12
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Maynard Smith, John. 1972. On evolution. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University
Press, page 85.

backspace

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Oct 14, 2012, 6:50:39 AM10/14/12
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Note how Wallace used 'fitness' below:

http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin_authors#Patric_Matthew_Tautology_1
We can get the gist of Matthew�s ideas from the following passage quoted from On Naval Timbers by Wallace:

As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.

gdgu...@gmail.com

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Oct 14, 2012, 8:12:42 AM10/14/12
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On Oct 14, 6:54 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Note how Wallace used 'fitness' below:
>
> http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin_...
> We can get the gist of Matthew s ideas from the following passage quoted from On Naval Timbers by Wallace:
>
> As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.

---------------------

See that very first word above? "As"? It conveys that the process he
describes *depends* on a condition; a "limited and preoccupied" field
of existence. It is not true by definition, it follows from a set of
conditions.

Thus no tautology.

Thanks.

backspace

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Oct 14, 2012, 10:32:45 AM10/14/12
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As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.


rephrase:
the more robust individuals who struggle to maturity, inhabit situations to which they have superior adaptation than other kinds:
the weaker being prematurely destroyed.

Finally:
The fit individuals survive their habitat while the less fit or weaker die. No test can be devised to refute or verify this.

RAM

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Oct 14, 2012, 10:44:35 AM10/14/12
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How cryptic!

Boikat

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Oct 14, 2012, 10:50:57 AM10/14/12
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If you think that, you have a very limited intellect. Not only that,
but it's been observed, so it's been verified. Once it's verified,
it's as hard to refute as dropping a rock, watching it fall to the
ground, then trying to show that the rock did not fall to the ground.

Boikat

backspace

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Oct 14, 2012, 12:26:47 PM10/14/12
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On Oct 14, 3:54 pm, Boikat <boi...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> On Oct 14, 9:34 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.
>
> > rephrase:
> > the more robust individuals who struggle to maturity, inhabit situations to which they have superior adaptation than other kinds:
> > the weaker being prematurely destroyed.
>
> > Finally:
> > The fit individuals survive their habitat while the less fit or weaker die.  No test can be devised to refute or verify this.

http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin_authors#Patric_Matthew_Tautology_1
Lyell dutifully did as he was requested and the following statement
appeared in Darwin’s name in the Gardeners’ Chronicle on April 21st,
1860 (Darwin, 1860c): I have been much interested by Mr Patrick
Matthew’s communication in the number of your paper dated April 7th. I
freely acknowledge that Mr Matthew has anticipated by many years the
explanation which I have offered of the origin of species, under the
name of natural selection. I think that no one will feel surprised
that neither I, nor apparently any other naturalist had heard of Mr
Matthew’s views, considering how briefly they are given, and that they
appeared in the appendix to a work on Naval Timber and Arboriculture.
I can do no more than offer my apologies to Mr Matthew for my entire
ignorance of his publication. If another edition of my work is called
for, I will insert to the forgoing effect. Here then, we have Darwin
admitting that he was beaten to the theory of natural selection by
Patrick Matthew. In a subsequent letter, written in the same month to
the, American naturalist, Asa Gray he states: Have you noticed how
completely I have been anticipated by Mr P.Matthew, in Gardeners’
Chronicle? (Darwin, 1860d

This proves Darwin lied which Samuel Butler an intellectual genius
also showed. Darwin no more managed to figure out the acquisition of
attributes via the *natural* means of competitve *selection* than the
author of a Journal paper around 1960's managed to described the IC
concept using *composite integrity* by himself, the term was lifted
from Wentworth Thompson.


.... I can do no more than offer my apologies to Mr Matthew for my
entire ignorance of his publication. ..... Which is a lie because
DArwin read Matthews book on the Beagle.

gdgu...@gmail.com

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Oct 14, 2012, 12:30:20 PM10/14/12
to
Firstly, even though you have tried mightily to remove the meaning
from your "rephrase, you are still wrong. All could survive. Or none
could survive. Or the environment could be sufficiently capricious
that which ones survive might not be related to any heritable traits.
And in any case, it is only true in the aggregate; sometimes a
creature with a truly enviable set of traits ends up under a bus or
mounted over the mantel at the lodge.

But back to the "effect" that you always manage to launder out of the
original construction: Natural Selection predicts that a population
will change over time, coming to possess more of the traits that
allowed some individuals in previous generations to leave more progeny
in future generations.

We can indeed test that proposition. If the percentage of light moths
to dark moths were to remain the same over many generations despite
birds eating most of the light ones, natural selection would be
falsified, at least in that case.

When you include the cause (differential reproduction of creatures
with different traits) and the effect (change in the representation of
traits in the population) it is indeed testable.


Burkhard

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Oct 14, 2012, 12:32:10 PM10/14/12
to
The same tests that were given to you a hundred times over will do
just fine.

J.J. O'Shea

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Oct 14, 2012, 12:37:03 PM10/14/12
to
On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 15:25:30 -0400, John Harshman wrote
(in article <ouSdnbCvzay...@giganews.com>):
That's Rm Kltpzyxm.

--
email to oshea dot j dot j at gmail dot com.

gdgu...@gmail.com

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Oct 14, 2012, 12:41:20 PM10/14/12
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On Oct 14, 12:29 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Oct 14, 3:54 pm, Boikat <boi...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Oct 14, 9:34 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.
>
> > > rephrase:
> > > the more robust individuals who struggle to maturity, inhabit situations to which they have superior adaptation than other kinds:
> > > the weaker being prematurely destroyed.
>
> > > Finally:
> > > The fit individuals survive their habitat while the less fit or weaker die.  No test can be devised to refute or verify this.
>
> http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin_...
Suppose we take your word for it. What of it? What if Darwin never
actually left his own yard, wouldn't know a finch from a winch and (as
some jackass argued) shot dogs for sport?

It's no secret, you know. It will always be easier to attack a person
than an idea, especially an idea as simple, understandable and
successful as Natural Selection. But every time you go that route, you
prove how robust the idea is.

backspace

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Oct 14, 2012, 12:43:57 PM10/14/12
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There is no test that can measure your fitness, you don't possess a
property called fitness, and don't have more or less 'fit' parts that
enable you to survive. A fitness measurement machine doesn't exist.

Because adaptationists know that "survival of the fittest" is a
tautology they came up with a new formulation of the phrase that gave
us an independent criterion of fitness - the environment. Success in
survival is now tick-boxed as: "better adapted for the immediate,
local environment". But this is a tautology too. An environment, like
a destination, isn't a geographical place. A description of an
environment is cast in terms of a creature's attributes. As my
environment is already described by my attributes I can't be adapted
TO my environment. And even less can I be "better adapted" to my
environment. "Survival of the fittest" There is only one thing being
considered here. "Survival" describes the "fittest" as the scientists
know. With the premise of Adaption There is STILL only one thing on
offer here, as adaption describes an environment, as the scientists
have failed to notice.

An environment is a description of a habitat. And a habitat is
creature-specific. It isn't a geographical place. For example, the
geographical place "the top of mount Everest and the kitchen sink" is
not a habitat because a creature doesn't fulfil the requirements to
exist in such a large physical place. Also, the clutter on my desk
isn't a habitat as it offers an insufficient description of a
creature's attributes/habitat.

'''Fitness isn't a measurable quality'''. A creature is, by being an
existing creature, fit. The creature doesn't "have" fit parts or
alleles. If parts and alleles constitute the creature, then they don't
also require a property called "fitness" that helps it exist. I don't
see the significance of saying that evolution is about populations.
Like the term "fit" can't apply to individuals, the term "evolve"
can't apply to populations. There aren't properties and processes
(fit, evolve,) above and beyond the individual and the population. An
environment is, at the same time, logically entails, a description of
a set of attributes.

Adaptation confuses an environment with a geographical place. An
environment entails the description of what allows an animal to
survive, and this description logically entails a creature's
attributes. ''


RAM

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Oct 14, 2012, 1:06:21 PM10/14/12
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Backspace is incapable of understanding induction.

Boikat

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Oct 14, 2012, 1:22:09 PM10/14/12
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On Oct 14, 11:29 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Oct 14, 3:54 pm, Boikat <boi...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > On Oct 14, 9:34 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.
>
> > > rephrase:
> > > the more robust individuals who struggle to maturity, inhabit situations to which they have superior adaptation than other kinds:
> > > the weaker being prematurely destroyed.
>
> > > Finally:
> > > The fit individuals survive their habitat while the less fit or weaker die.  No test can be devised to refute or verify this.
>
> http://tautology.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin_...
What does that have to do with what I wrote, ande you snipped and
ignored? You appear more dishonest than you imagine Darwin ever was.

Boikat


Bob Casanova

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Oct 14, 2012, 2:16:46 PM10/14/12
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On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:30:51 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:

<snip irrelevancies>

>Wallace: "....even personifying Nature, she does not so much select special variations as exterminate the most unfavourable ones. ..."

>Other than noting that certain variations were exterminated how was their unfavorability measured by Wallace ?

All else being equal, extermination is pretty indicative of
unfavorability; what else do you imagine to be required?

But don't take it personally;, I'm just trying to 'elp you
on a bit; see Kipling's "The 'Eathen" for context.

Burkhard

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Oct 14, 2012, 2:50:01 PM10/14/12
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On Oct 14, 5:44 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Oct 14, 5:34 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> > On 14 Oct, 15:34, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.
>
> > > rephrase:
> > > the more robust individuals who struggle to maturity, inhabit situations to which they have superior adaptation than other kinds:
> > > the weaker being prematurely destroyed.
>
> > > Finally:
> > > The fit individuals survive their habitat while the less fit or weaker die.  No test can be devised to refute or verify this.
>
> > The same tests that were given to you a hundred times over will do
> > just fine.
>
> There is no test that can measure your fitness,

just measure the ratio between the number of individuals with that
genotype after selection to those before selection to get the absolute
fitness, or count the average number of surviving offspring of a
particular genotype compared with average number of surviving
offspring of a competing genotypes after a single generation for the
relative fitness. ,

>you don't possess  a
> property called fitness, and don't have more or less 'fit' parts that
> enable you to survive. A fitness measurement machine doesn't exist.

Tell that to the lion next time you get chases. It sure will be
impressed by your verbal acrobatics

>
> Because adaptationists know that "survival of the fittest" is a
> tautology they came up with a new formulation of the phrase that gave
> us an independent criterion of fitness - the environment. Success in
> survival is now tick-boxed as: "better adapted for the immediate,
> local environment".  But this is a tautology too.

You were given repeatedly possible observations that would falsify NS,
so your claim has been falsified a long time ago

> An environment, like
> a destination, isn't a geographical place. A description of an
> environment is cast in terms of a creature's attributes.

Eh, no?

>As my
> environment is already described by my attributes I can't be adapted
> TO my environment. And even less can I be "better adapted" to my
> environment.

If there are lions in your environment, and your neighbour runs faster
than you then he is better adapted than you.

> "Survival of the fittest" There is only one thing being
> considered here. "Survival" describes the "fittest" as the scientists
> know. With the premise of Adaption There is STILL only one thing on
> offer here, as adaption describes an environment, as the scientists
> have failed to notice.
>
> An environment is a description of a habitat. And a habitat is
> creature-specific. It isn't a geographical place. For example, the
> geographical place "the top of mount Everest and the kitchen sink" is
> not a habitat because a creature doesn't fulfil the requirements to
> exist in such a large physical place. Also, the clutter on my desk
> isn't a habitat as it offers an insufficient description of a
> creature's attributes/habitat.
>
meaningless word salad

Amy Guarino

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Oct 14, 2012, 5:46:37 PM10/14/12
to
On Oct 14, 12:44 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Oct 14, 5:34 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> > On 14 Oct, 15:34, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.
>
> > > rephrase:
> > > the more robust individuals who struggle to maturity, inhabit situations to which they have superior adaptation than other kinds:
> > > the weaker being prematurely destroyed.
>
> > > Finally:
> > > The fit individuals survive their habitat while the less fit or weaker die.  No test can be devised to refute or verify this.
>
> > The same tests that were given to you a hundred times over will do
> > just fine.
>
> There is no test that can measure your fitness, you don't possess  a
> property called fitness, and don't have more or less 'fit' parts that
> enable you to survive. A fitness measurement machine doesn't exist.
>
Even if that were true, it's irrelevant. The concept of Natural
Selection does not depend on characterizations like "fitness" or
"hardiness". Whatever traits are associated with more progeny in
future generations will become more common in the population, changing
the population as a result. If the critters with brown coats
consistently out-reproduce those with tan coats, eventually
essentially the entire population will become brown. If shorter legs,
thinner fur and spots confer a reproductive advantage, *for whatever
reason*, we will expect to see the population change slowly to one
with short stature, short fur and spots.

Now for brevity we like to call that quality that allows creatures to
thrive and reproduce "fitness". But it is not crucial. You like to
rephrase it down to "what survives survives", but a truer paraphrase
would be "what survives and reproduces changes the population over
time".

Earle Jones

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Oct 14, 2012, 6:02:17 PM10/14/12
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In article <qjvl78dndgv48f3rt...@4ax.com>,
Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:

> On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:30:51 -0700 (PDT), the following
> appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
> <steph...@gmail.com>:
>
> <snip irrelevancies>
>
> >Wallace: "....even personifying Nature, she does not so much select special
> >variations as exterminate the most unfavourable ones. ..."
>
> >Other than noting that certain variations were exterminated how was their
> >unfavorability measured by Wallace ?
>
> All else being equal, extermination is pretty indicative of
> unfavorability; what else do you imagine to be required?
>
> But don't take it personally;, I'm just trying to 'elp you
> on a bit; see Kipling's "The 'Eathen" for context.

*
"The 'eathen in 'is blindness bows down to wood an' stone;
'E don't obey no orders unless they is 'is own;
'E keeps 'is side-arms awful: 'e leaves 'em all about,
An' then comes up the regiment an' pokes the 'eathen out.

All along o' dirtiness, all along o' mess,
All along o' doin' things rather-more-or-less,
All along of abby-nay, kul, an' hazar-ho, *
Mind you keep your rifle an' yourself jus' so!"

* abby-nay: Not now. kul: To-morrow. hazar-ho: Wait a bit.

Rudyard Kipling, "The 'eathen"

earle
*

ivar

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Oct 15, 2012, 5:29:08 AM10/15/12
to
Arguably, the tautology argument is something of an illusion. After
all, Darwin and practically all modern biologists would probably agree
that "the survivors are the survivors." The real issue is not whether
the survivors are the survivors but rather whether the characteristics
of the survivors change as the environment changes. The classic
example of change are those moths that got darker or lighter depending
on how polluted the atmosphere was.

Actually, most creationists appear to accept microevolution. It is
macroevolution that they object to. Today, the response of biologists
to this is mutation and genetic drift. But this is a different
subject.

Ivar

Friar Broccoli

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Oct 15, 2012, 11:32:09 AM10/15/12
to
On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 23:58:16 -0400, William Morse
<wdNOSP...@verizon.net> wrote:

>On 10/12/2012 02:18 PM, Friar Broccoli wrote:
>>
>> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
>>
>> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.
>
>
>I like it. Did you consider adding a reference to this:
>
>"John Maynard Smith once remarked, any theory involving two lines of
>algebra will contain tautologies"
>
>I remember reading this in print and I found it on a web site but I have
>no original reference.

I couldn't find that exact phrase. Dawkins and Waddington both quote
Maynard as saying in 1969 that:

"Of course Darwinism contains tautological features: any scientific
theory containing two lines of algebra does so"

but I couldn't find a usable reference. I have no problem with adding
an additional reference in the footnotes, but I'd like to be able to see
the original quote in context - and preferably be able to point the
reader directly at it.

Friar Broccoli

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Oct 15, 2012, 12:59:35 PM10/15/12
to
On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 00:12:21 -0700 (PDT), Mitchell Coffey
<mitchel...@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Friday, October 12, 2012 10:04:12 PM UTC-4, Friar Broccoli wrote:
>> On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:31:02 -0700 (PDT), air <airbo...@gmail.com>
>>
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> >On 12 Oct, 14:19, Friar Broccoli <elia...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> >> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
>>
>> >>
>>
>> >> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.
>>
>>
>>
>> .
>>
>>
>>
>> >I would suggest amending the phrase
>>
>> >"The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may
>>
>> >be formally defined as tautologies, accurately describe real world
>>
>> >events, consequently not all tautologies are bad."
>>
>> >
>>
>> >perhaps" ....not all tautologies are free of explanatory power."
>>
>>
>>
>> The word "bad" here - is sloppy and makes no point on its own. It was
>>
>> intended to refer back to and encapsulate "accurately describe real
>>
>> world events".
>>
>>
>>
>> I will think about it for a day or two - and watch for other comments,
>>
>> but it seems to me that your "free of explanatory power" is a fancy way
>>
>> of saying "empty" so I may just replace "bad" with "empty".
>>
>> I think "empty" is better because it obviously refers back to the main
>> idea, while having a simple independent meaning.
>[snip]

I got up this morning fully intending to make all the changes you
suggested, but when I started trying I found that I could see no
additions that helped the reader understand the issue without creating
other problems, although I did delete some words that added nothing.

> I think "free of explanatory power" is better because, fancy or not, it
> actually tells people what the heck you mean.

Looking at the phrase, I couldn't convince myself that "free of
explanatory power" (or any of the other variants) adds anything that
isn't already in "accurately describe real world events", so I just
chopped off the end of the sentence since the current "bad" adds nothing
at all.

> I note, that the FAQ refers to "empty" as a property of both tautologies and
> "wording," which is itself confusing without further explanation, while never
> directly defining what "empty" in context means. It certainly gives one
> opportunity of guess, and possibly enough information, but this is not a ideal
> solution in a FAQ. I propose the FAQ define "empty" as "free of explanatory
> power," if that is indeed correct, in it's first paragraph.

The main reason I made frequent use of "empty tautology" in the opening
is because I wanted to oppose it to "substantive ... predictions" and
since almost no one knows what "tautology" means it wasn't obvious that
most people would understand that "tautology" naked was the opposite of
"substantive". Thus without the addition of "empty" the meaning/point
of the opening summary would be lost to most readers.

In addition as is made clear in the section on mathematics, that type of
tautology is substantive, so I needed to make an implicit distinction
between substantive and empty tautologies.

Also I don't want to lose my reader in definitional digressions. I want
him to focus on the fact that SoF makes reference to something
substantive. Further I find "without explanatory power" to be somewhat
nebulous and therefore likely to result in loss of focus.


> I also suggest that the usage "empty wording" in the second paragraph be
> firmly booted, and replaced by "empty tautology" or perhaps just "empty," if
> that suffices.

The use of "empty wording" here is intended as a second reference to the
final argument titled: "The tautology argument is an attack against
*wording*, not substance". I think that section makes clear that the
tautology argument is all about words and not at all about substance and
as already noted I am using "empty" in opposition to "substantive".


> I further warn against "meaningless empty tautology" in the
> first paragraph, as it is an abomination.

Speaking of abominations, I wonder how "it" is defined.

> Look, I suspect that nothing more than "empty tautology" is truly meant there,
> and though my inexpert suspicion is that empty tautologies as a class do tend
> to the meaningless, even more inexpert readers are liable to spy that
> "meaningless" there and nervously worry that it is there not to decorate, but
> to add some additional spot of meaning, if only for irony's sake.

Personally, I like "meaningless" but can see no objective reason for
keeping it, so I deleted it.

Friar Broccoli

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Oct 15, 2012, 1:05:50 PM10/15/12
to
On Mon, 15 Oct 2012 02:29:08 -0700 (PDT), ivar <ylvi...@verizon.net>
wrote:

>Arguably, the tautology argument is something of an illusion. After
>all, Darwin and practically all modern biologists would probably agree
>that "the survivors are the survivors." The real issue is not whether
>the survivors are the survivors but rather whether the characteristics
>of the survivors change as the environment changes. The classic
>example of change are those moths that got darker or lighter depending
>on how polluted the atmosphere was.

I agree

>
>Actually, most creationists appear to accept microevolution. It is
>macroevolution that they object to. Today, the response of biologists
>to this is mutation and genetic drift. But this is a different
>subject.

I don't think its a completely different subject, after all in the FAQ I
(Harshman actually) identified SoF with microevolution to show that
creationists agree with the principle they are arguing against.

And thanks for pointing out the need to revise the tautology FAQ all
these many years ago.

Bob Casanova

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Oct 15, 2012, 1:24:58 PM10/15/12
to
On Sun, 14 Oct 2012 15:02:17 -0700, the following appeared
in talk.origins, posted by Earle Jones
<earle...@comcast.net>:
See my reference above; I was thinking of the line...

"But day by day they kicks 'im, which 'elps 'im on a bit"

....although I fear that backspace will never acquire "a full
and proper kit". Or for that matter, even a partial one...

Stephanus

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Oct 15, 2012, 2:50:48 PM10/15/12
to
On Oct 14, 10:49 pm, Amy Guarino <amy.l.guar...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Oct 14, 12:44 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Oct 14, 5:34 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> > > On 14 Oct, 15:34, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.
>
> > > > rephrase:
> > > > the more robust individuals who struggle to maturity, inhabit situations to which they have superior adaptation than other kinds:
> > > > the weaker being prematurely destroyed.
>
> > > > Finally:
> > > > The fit individuals survive their habitat while the less fit or weaker die. No test can be devised to refute or verify this.
>
> > > The same tests that were given to you a hundred times over will do
> > > just fine.
>
> > There is no test that can measure your fitness, you don't possess a
> > property called fitness, and don't have more or less 'fit' parts that
> > enable you to survive. A fitness measurement machine doesn't exist.

> Even if that were true, it's irrelevant. The concept of Natural
> Selection does not depend on characterizations like "fitness" or
> "hardiness".

Only sentences can concepts, ns is a term not a sentence. It was the
metaphor for SoF in the *natural* competitive *selective* struggle for
life as Wallace, Darwin wrote.

> Whatever traits are associated with more progeny in
> future generations will become more common in the population, changing
> the population as a result.

rephrase:
Those with more progeny will become more common and from this we
conclude that new attributes will be acquired in the population as a
result.

The fact that they had more progeny implies they will become more
common, stating the same thing twice. (more common <=> more progeny)
Your premise is the acquisition of attributes and therefore your
conclusion is that new attributes will be acquired in descendent
populations. Your argument between premise and conclusion was a
rhetorical tautology, thus the conclusion is a non-sequitur.



Friar Broccoli

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Oct 15, 2012, 3:14:41 PM10/15/12
to
What is more common are some specific *characteristics* in the
population.

Specific characteristics and progeny (complex instances of an organism)
are not the same thing so the equality you need for (one type of)
tautology is not there.


>Your premise is the acquisition of attributes and therefore your
>conclusion is that new attributes will be acquired in descendent
>populations. Your argument between premise and conclusion was a
>rhetorical tautology, thus the conclusion is a non-sequitur.
>
>

Friar Broccoli

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Oct 16, 2012, 9:09:03 AM10/16/12
to
On Mon, 15 Oct 2012 12:59:35 -0400, Friar Broccoli <eli...@gmail.com>
wrote:


>In addition as is made clear in the section on mathematics, that type of
>tautology is substantive, so I needed to make an implicit distinction
>between substantive and empty tautologies.

After further thought I have made that distinction explicit by changing
the final phrase in the section titled:
"Mathematical expressions of scientific laws as tautologies"

from:
"The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may be
formally defined as tautologies, accurately describe real world events."
to:
"The above examples highlight the fact that some statements which may be
formally defined as tautologies are substantive, not empty since they
accurately describe real world events."

John S. Wilkins

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Oct 16, 2012, 9:58:50 AM10/16/12
to
I gave the citation in this subthread.
--
John S. Wilkins, Associate, Philosophy, University of Sydney
http://evolvingthoughts.net
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre

Greg Guarino

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Oct 16, 2012, 10:07:04 AM10/16/12
to
On 10/15/2012 2:50 PM, Stephanus wrote:
> On Oct 14, 10:49 pm, Amy Guarino <amy.l.guar...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Oct 14, 12:44 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>> On Oct 14, 5:34 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>>
>>>> On 14 Oct, 15:34, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>>>> As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue their kind of reproduction.
>>
>>>>> rephrase:
>>>>> the more robust individuals who struggle to maturity, inhabit situations to which they have superior adaptation than other kinds:
>>>>> the weaker being prematurely destroyed.
>>
>>>>> Finally:
>>>>> The fit individuals survive their habitat while the less fit or weaker die. No test can be devised to refute or verify this.
>>
>>>> The same tests that were given to you a hundred times over will do
>>>> just fine.
>>
>>> There is no test that can measure your fitness, you don't possess a
>>> property called fitness, and don't have more or less 'fit' parts that
>>> enable you to survive. A fitness measurement machine doesn't exist.
>
>> Even if that were true, it's irrelevant. The concept of Natural
>> Selection does not depend on characterizations like "fitness" or
>> "hardiness".
>
> Only sentences can concepts, ns is a term not a sentence. It was the
> metaphor for SoF in the *natural* competitive *selective* struggle for
> life as Wallace, Darwin wrote.

Luckily Darwin wrote an entire book explaining the concept. You again
make a weak attempt to attack the "shorthand" term as if it were the
entire argument, demonstrating that the full argument is too robust to
tackle.

>> Whatever traits are associated with more progeny in
>> future generations will become more common in the population, changing
>> the population as a result.
>
> rephrase:
> Those with more progeny will become more common

Already incorrect. The *traits* that help individuals have more progeny
will become more common in future generations.

and from this we
> conclude that new attributes will be acquired in the population as a
> result.

Also incorrect. New variations are produced by mutations in individuals.
The spread of some of those mutations through a population is due (in
part) to differential reproduction associated with certain heritable
traits, as is the dwindling and disappearance of other variations.

> The fact that they had more progeny implies they will become more
> common,

Wrong again. You've used the word "they" twice, representing two
different things: "traits" and "population members".

stating the same thing twice. (more common <=> more progeny)

You're really on a roll here. That those that have the most progeny tend
to pass on more of their *traits* to the next generation is not a
consequence of rhetoric, but a property of how heredity happens to work
here on Earth.

> Your premise is the acquisition of attributes and therefore your
> conclusion is that new attributes will be acquired in descendent
> populations.

Wrong yet again, to the point of being gibberish. The "acquisition" of a
new heritable trait in a population is an entirely different process
(mutation). Selection influences the distribution of that trait in
future generations.

Your argument between premise and conclusion was a
> rhetorical tautology, thus the conclusion is a non-sequitur.

Wrong on every count.

Friar Broccoli

unread,
Oct 16, 2012, 11:11:38 AM10/16/12
to
On Wed, 17 Oct 2012 00:58:50 +1100, jo...@wilkins.id.au (John S. Wilkins)
wrote:

>Friar Broccoli <eli...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 23:58:16 -0400, William Morse
>> <wdNOSP...@verizon.net> wrote:
>>
>> >On 10/12/2012 02:18 PM, Friar Broccoli wrote:
>> >>
>> >> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html
>> >>
>> >> If anybody points out any errors, I will correct them in place.
>> >
>> >
>> >I like it. Did you consider adding a reference to this:
>> >
>> >"John Maynard Smith once remarked, any theory involving two lines of
>> >algebra will contain tautologies"
>> >
>> >I remember reading this in print and I found it on a web site but I have
>> >no original reference.
>>
>> I couldn't find that exact phrase. Dawkins and Waddington both quote
>> Maynard as saying in 1969 that:
>>
>> "Of course Darwinism contains tautological features: any scientific
>> theory containing two lines of algebra does so"

.

>> but I couldn't find a usable reference. I have no problem with adding
>> an additional reference in the footnotes, but I'd like to be able to see
>> the original quote in context - and preferably be able to point the
>> reader directly at it.

.

>I gave the citation in this subthread.

I did not miss it. It was here:
http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/msg/332b50020c7477af


The problem is I am not certain what the exact quote was in that cited
source.

Morse's complete quoted statement was:
"John Maynard Smith once remarked, any theory involving two lines of
algebra will contain tautologies"

and I got zero hits (except for this thread) on the shorter exact
phrase: "any theory involving two lines of algebra will contain
tautologies."

So I was suspicious that Morse was paraphrasing. I don't want to be
responsible for putting a possibly misleading paraphrase into the TO
archive.

And the other similar quote I found:
"Of course Darwinism contains tautological features: any scientific
theory containing two lines of algebra does so"

is apparently not from the same source - although I am not certain where
it is from. (As I recall I got several conflicting cited sources -
although I assume Dawkins and Waddington are correct - though vague)

backspace

unread,
Oct 16, 2012, 12:47:35 PM10/16/12
to
Selection as metaphor for what?

Greg Guarino

unread,
Oct 16, 2012, 4:44:03 PM10/16/12
to
No answer here?

>>>> Whatever traits are associated with more progeny in
>>>> future generations will become more common in the population, changing
>>>> the population as a result.
>>
>>> rephrase:
>>> Those with more progeny will become more common
>>
>> Already incorrect. The *traits* that help individuals have more progeny
>> will become more common in future generations.

None here either?

>> and from this we
>>
>>> conclude that new attributes will be acquired in the population as a
>>> result.
>>
>> Also incorrect. New variations are produced by mutations in individuals.
>> The spread of some of those mutations through a population is due (in
>> part) to differential reproduction associated with certain heritable
>> traits, as is the dwindling and disappearance of other variations.

Nor here. Why not?

>>> The fact that they had more progeny implies they will become more
>>> common,
>>
>> Wrong again. You've used the word "they" twice, representing two
>> different things: "traits" and "population members".
>>
>> stating the same thing twice. (more common <=> more progeny)
>>
>> You're really on a roll here. That those that have the most progeny tend
>> to pass on more of their *traits* to the next generation is not a
>> consequence of rhetoric, but a property of how heredity happens to work
>> here on Earth.

And still nothing.

>>> Your premise is the acquisition of attributes and therefore your
>>> conclusion is that new attributes will be acquired in descendent
>>> populations.
>>
>> Wrong yet again, to the point of being gibberish. The "acquisition" of a
>> new heritable trait in a population is an entirely different process
>> (mutation). Selection influences the distribution of that trait in
>> future generations.
>
> Selection as metaphor for what?

And here we see the complete bankruptcy of your position. When cornered,
which is usually, you fire off one of your bits of boilerplate nonsense.

The answer, the obvious answer, the answer that most every educated
person over the age of 15 could provide, is "Selection as the accepted
term for a certain biological process, famously (but not exclusively)
described by Darwin." We name things. "Selection" is the accepted name
for a process you haven't got the guts (or the argument) to address
directly.


Glenn

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Oct 16, 2012, 5:04:07 PM10/16/12
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"Greg Guarino" <gdgu...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:k5kgun$nq0$1...@dont-email.me...
snip
>
> The answer, the obvious answer, the answer that most every educated
> person over the age of 15 could provide, is "Selection as the accepted
> term for a certain biological process, famously (but not exclusively)
> described by Darwin." We name things. "Selection" is the accepted name
> for a process you haven't got the guts (or the argument) to address
> directly.
>
Is natural selection actually taught to be a *biological process*?


John S. Wilkins

unread,
Oct 16, 2012, 6:15:46 PM10/16/12
to