Samuel Butler identified Darwin's tautology first

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Jun 8, 2012, 9:43:19 AM6/8/12
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http://www.readbookonline.net/read/18908/54555/

If, on the other hand, Mr. Darwin maintains natural selection to be a
cause of variation, this comes to saying that when an animal has
varied in an advantageous direction, the fact of its subsequently
surviving in the struggle for existence is the cause of its having
varied in the advantageous direction--or more simply still--that the
fact of its having varied is the cause of its having varied.

alyc...@btinternet.com

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Jun 8, 2012, 9:52:18 AM6/8/12
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In the category 'Confirming the Subsequent':

Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-origins@moderators.isc.org

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Jun 8, 2012, 10:08:29 AM6/8/12
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Natural selection does not cause inheritable
variations in organisms. (Mostly.) That is
Lamarckism. (Or epigenetics.) Variation in
heredity happens first - randomly.

When variations have occurred in reproduction
from one generation to the next, some variations
then prosper and others do not. That is natural
selection.

The next generation after /that/ is produced
by the population that survived in natural
selection.

Natural selection does not cause variations
to occur. It selects "good" variations
when they do occur.

I think there is an argument that natural
selection /may/ cause variations to occur,
inasmuch as it is argued that in some
cases, organisms under stress produce
more mutations, and may benefit from doing
so, as a species, by evolving to deal with
difficult conditions more adequately.
And there are other such arguments, too.
But these are distractions from the
main idea.

Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-origins@moderators.isc.org

unread,
Jun 8, 2012, 10:10:29 AM6/8/12
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Seconded.

hersheyh

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Jun 8, 2012, 10:46:45 AM6/8/12
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Ho hum. Darwin did not maintain that natural selection is the cause
of variation. I know it is hard for creationists to count past one, but
the process Darwin envisioned has two (like the number of eyes that
the people across from you have; you yourself may only have one)
parts:
1) A *cause* of heritable variation, which Darwin did not know,
but we now call "mutation" and ascribe to random (wrt need) changes
in a molecule called DNA, the "genetic material" of life.
2) Selection, which is decidedly non-random, in which the dumb,
blind, ignorant local conditions differentially favor or disfavor
such heritable variants on the metric of reproductive success.

Since Darwin nowhere claimed that natural selection is the *cause*
of variation rather than a process that differentially affects a variation's
chances of transmission to the future, Mr Butler (is that his name or
his occupation?) is arguing against an imaginary argument. But you
might even know that.

backspace

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Jun 8, 2012, 11:28:19 AM6/8/12
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1) Define via web link the full sentence for which the term natural
selection is used as metaphor.
2) Since you seem to know what Darwin did and didn't write or claim,
where did he use @differential reproductive success@, differential
success or differential?

backspace

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Jun 8, 2012, 11:48:24 AM6/8/12
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On Jun 8, 3:46 pm, hersheyh <hershe...@yahoo.com> wrote:
http://www.readbookonline.net/read/18908/54555/
............Mr. Darwin explains this apparent inconsistency thus:--He
maintains that though the advantageous modification itself is
fortuitous, or without known cause or principle underlying it, yet its
becoming the predominant form of the species in which it appears is
due to the fact that those animals which have been advantageously
modified commonly survive in times of difficulty, while the unmodified
individuals perish: offspring therefore is more frequently left by the
favourably modified animal, and thus little by little the whole
species will come to inherit the modification. Hence the survival of
the fittest becomes a means of modification, though it is no cause of
variation.

It will appear more clearly later on how much this amounts to. I will
for the present content myself with the following quotation from the
late Mr. G. H. Lewes in reference to it. Mr. Lewes writes:--

"Mr. Darwin seems to imply that the external conditions which cause a
variation are to be distinguished from the conditions which accumulate
and perfect such variation, that is to say, he implies a radical
difference between the process of variation and the process of
selection. This I have already said does not seem to me acceptable;
the selection I conceive to be simply the variation which has
survived."[354]

Certainly those animals and plants which are best fitted for their
environment, or, as Lamarck calls it, "_circonstances_"--those
animals, in fact, which are best fitted to comply with the conditions
of their existence--are most likely to survive and transmit their
especial fitness. No one would admit this more readily than Lamarck.
This is no theory; it is a commonly observed fact in nature which no
one will dispute, but it is not more "a means of modification" than
many other commonly observed facts concerning animals.


For "natural selection" substitute the words "survival of the
fittest," which we may do with Mr. Darwin's own consent abundantly
given.
To the words "survival of the fittest" add what is elided, but what
is, nevertheless, unquestionably as much implied as though it were
said openly whenever these words are used, and without which "fittest"
has no force--I mean, "for the conditions of their existence."

Kermit

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Jun 8, 2012, 12:46:26 PM6/8/12
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Butler said this:
"When Mr. Darwin says that natural selection is the most important
"means" of modification..."
And later,
"It is plain that natural selection cannot be considered a cause of
variation; and if not of variation, which is as the rain drop, then
not of specific and generic modification, which are as the river; for
the variations must make their appearance before they can be selected.
Suppose that it is an advantage to a horse to have an especially hard
and broad hoof, then a horse born with such a hoof will indeed
probably survive in the struggle for existence, but he was not born
with the larger and harder hoof _because of his subsequently
surviving_. He survived because he was born fit--not, he was born fit
because he survived. The variation must arise first and be preserved
afterwards. "

He seems to be confusing variation of the species with variation of
the individual.

Kermit

hersheyh

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Jun 8, 2012, 12:51:15 PM6/8/12
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On Friday, June 8, 2012 11:28:19 AM UTC-4, backspace wrote:
> On Jun 8, 3:46嚙緘m, hersheyh <hershe...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > On Friday, June 8, 2012 9:43:19 AM UTC-4, backspace wrote:
> > >http://www.readbookonline.net/read/18908/54555/
> >
> > > If, on the other hand, Mr. Darwin maintains natural selection to be a
> > > cause of variation, this comes to saying that when an animal has
> > > varied in an advantageous direction, the fact of its subsequently
> > > surviving in the struggle for existence is the cause of its having
> > > varied in the advantageous direction--or more simply still--that the
> > > fact of its having varied is the cause of its having varied.
> >
> > Ho hum. 嚙瘩arwin did not maintain that natural selection is the cause
> > of variation. 嚙瘢 know it is hard for creationists to count past one, but
> > the process Darwin envisioned has two (like the number of eyes that
> > the people across from you have; you yourself may only have one)
> > parts:
> > 1) A *cause* of heritable variation, which Darwin did not know,
> > but we now call "mutation" and ascribe to random (wrt need) changes
> > in a molecule called DNA, the "genetic material" of life.
> > 2) Selection, which is decidedly non-random, in which the dumb,
> > blind, ignorant local conditions differentially favor or disfavor
> > such heritable variants on the metric of reproductive success.
> >
> > Since Darwin nowhere claimed that natural selection is the *cause*
> > of variation rather than a process that differentially affects a variation's
> > chances of transmission to the future, Mr Butler (is that his name or
> > his occupation?) is arguing against an imaginary argument. 嚙畿ut you
> > might even know that.
>
> 1) Define via web link the full sentence for which the term natural
> selection is used as metaphor.

Since "natural" selection is a term that was derived from *analogy* to
"artificial" selection (that is, selection by human minds) to describe
"selection" that does not involve 'human minds', its clear what the
meaning of the term is.

> 2) Since you seem to know what Darwin did and didn't write or claim,
> where did he use @differential reproductive success@, differential
> success or differential?

Do I have to use those exact terms? It is, however, quite obvious that
Darwin always used comparative terms in describing the relative
success of one variant to another. Are you claiming that Darwin's
idea of natural selection ignored the relative success of variants?


Kermit

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Jun 8, 2012, 12:57:30 PM6/8/12
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What a bizarre notion!

Words do not enter the English language when given the imprimatur of
some authority. They flow naturally; they are born and frequently die;
they are stolen, copied, misunderstood, and used in particular ways by
consensus. This consensus may be of the general population, or a
particular community, such as the Vatican, or English-speaking
scientists, or jazz musicians.

The best you can do is find online dictionaries which describe how the
phrase "natural selection" is used, and you would then find that we
use it correctly. Indeed, as you should know, a number of us (not I)
are evolutionary biologists, and they are the ones who define words in
that field.

> 2) Since you seem to know what Darwin did and didn't write or claim,
> where did he use @differential reproductive success@, differential
> success or differential?

As far as I know, he didn't. Nor did he use airplanes, nor the phrase
"Email me sometime; we'll do lunch."

Language changes, even if you don't.

Darwin is not a prophet. It wouldn't matter if everything he said had
been wrong. The science now would still be the same. None of your sad
word play will make the evidence and the process of evolution go away.
You are still an ape, and a fish, whether you like it or not.

Kermit

Kermit

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Jun 8, 2012, 1:06:09 PM6/8/12
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On Jun 8, 8:48 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jun 8, 3:46 pm, hersheyh <hershe...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
<snip>

If you succeeded in convincing everybody to stop saying natural
selection, what do you think will happen to the evidence? It will not
go away.

Technical communities may be wrong about the nature of reality, but
they are never wrong about their usage of a word or phrase.

Kermit

Greg Guarino

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Jun 8, 2012, 1:11:31 PM6/8/12
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A fish in the pattern or design sense?

UC

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Jun 8, 2012, 1:18:19 PM6/8/12
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Terms can be defined for reference, but that is not what 'tautology'
means. Darwin's argument does not depend on definition. 'Natural
selection' is defined by him as the process which causes organisms to
differentiate over time.

Ernest Major

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Jun 8, 2012, 1:31:58 PM6/8/12
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In message
<uranium-147c884d-5d03-...@e3g2000yqm.googlegroups.com
>, UC <uraniumc...@yahoo.com> writes
Since you claim that you "understand and can explain evolution better
than most people here trying to defend it", would you like to
reconsider, and explain what is wrong with your statement above.
--
alias Ernest Major

UC

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Jun 8, 2012, 1:41:07 PM6/8/12
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On Jun 8, 1:31 pm, Ernest Major <{$t...@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In message
> <uranium-147c884d-5d03-4020-b719-b898e0851...@e3g2000yqm.googlegroups.com
'Natural selection' is the name for the processes of differential
reproduction and survival of organisms according to chance and
inheritable traits that differentiate them (usually slightly), which,
when repeated over eons, leads to greater and greater differences in
morphology.

Ernest Major

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Jun 8, 2012, 1:50:20 PM6/8/12
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In message
<uranium-613fedb6-9b1f-...@m8g2000yqo.googlegroups.com
>, UC <uraniumc...@yahoo.com> writes
That's better (not perfect), but you neglected to explain what was wrong
with your previous statement.
--
alias Ernest Major

Kermit

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Jun 8, 2012, 3:51:24 PM6/8/12
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Aaargh!

I think I sprained my face laughing and cringing at the same time.

Kermit

backspace

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Jun 8, 2012, 5:30:12 PM6/8/12
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What process? You have merely formulated your premise clearly, that
there was an increase or addition of attributes , not available in the
ancestors. But the actual mechanism is not defined. Neither could you
because if we assume your premise for argument's sake, it would be the
same mechanism from the YEC side: Life itself.

Life is the universal mechanism,in the absence of a definition the
Aristotelians have opted to play language games by deceiving Dembski
to move away from Platonic dualism to Platonic inversion.
By formulating or stating purposeless purpose(natural selection) this
fact is obfuscated.

backspace

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Jun 8, 2012, 5:25:12 PM6/8/12
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Which is what exactly?

prawnster

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Jun 8, 2012, 5:38:17 PM6/8/12
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On Jun 8, 9:57 am, Kermit <unrestrained_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> [...]
> Words do not enter the English language when given the imprimatur of
> some authority. They flow naturally; they are born and frequently die;
> they are stolen, copied, misunderstood, and used in particular ways by
> consensus. This consensus may be of the general population, or a
> particular community, such as the Vatican, or English-speaking
> scientists, or jazz musicians.
>

Spoken like a true sophist.


prawnster

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Jun 8, 2012, 5:42:28 PM6/8/12
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Chuck D was very ignant, though no more ignant than anyone else in the
19th century, and it doesn't matter anymore what he thought or wrote.

Here's all you need to know:
Molecules beget something beget something beget ... et cetera times
frojillion ... beget man.

= science!

Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-origins@moderators.isc.org

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Jun 8, 2012, 5:49:06 PM6/8/12
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<http://www.victorianweb.org/science/butler.html>
gives an account of Butler that indicates he was
indeed promoting a kind of neo-Lamarckism.

So my analysis of the first excerpt isn't quite
right; he wasn't misunderstanding, he was
assuming in advance the thesis that he was
offering to prove.

UC

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Jun 8, 2012, 10:04:10 PM6/8/12
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On Jun 8, 5:49 pm, "Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-
Lamarck was mistranslated.

backspace

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Jun 9, 2012, 2:44:57 AM6/9/12
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You forgot, they *competitively* beget via that natural means of
competitive preservation.

Message has been deleted

Amy Guarino

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Jun 9, 2012, 8:24:44 AM6/9/12
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On Jun 8, 5:30 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> Life is the universal mechanism,in the absence of a definition the
> Aristotelians have opted to play language games by deceiving Dembski
> to move away from Platonic dualism to Platonic inversion.
> By formulating or stating purposeless purpose(natural selection) this
> fact is obfuscated.

http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/toys/randomsentence/index.htm

Boikat

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Jun 9, 2012, 9:00:45 AM6/9/12
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The examples I got were more like Nando's demented spewage.

Boikat

John Vreeland

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Jun 9, 2012, 8:51:56 PM6/9/12
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On Sat, 9 Jun 2012 06:00:45 -0700 (PDT), Boikat <boi...@bellsouth.net>
wrote:
I have to agree. Backspace is obtuse to the point of trollishness,
but only Nando truly approaches the level of random verbiage.
--
Some aspects of life would be a lot easier if Creationists were required to carry warning signs. Fortunately, many of them already do.

Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-origins@moderators.isc.org

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Jun 10, 2012, 9:45:10 AM6/10/12
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Butler still was wrong.

Kermit

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Jun 11, 2012, 1:23:12 AM6/11/12
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I'm sorry; if I had known you were going to read that I'd have thrown
out a few syllables first. In modern usage sophistry refers to a
specious or misleading argument.

I wasn't arguing; I was asserting. Are you claiming that words or
their definitions *do come from a word authority of some sort?

On the dubious assumption that you are not a random insult generator,
perhaps you could give a few examples to support that counter-claim.

Kermit

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