Natural selection like triangular circles can't exist

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scienceteacheragain (November 04, 2007, 16:13:49 PM):
I doubt anyone is still on this thread anymore, but I would also like to point out that you should not get bogged down in how things are classified. I mean, you have to learn it if you study biology, but taxonomy is a beast that has changed over time, and at the end of the day is just our lingual device to organize things into categories.
It is easy to see, even for a lay person, that we have more in common with a chimp or even a baboon than, say, a dolphin. There are many errors in language even by biologists when talking or writing about these things. Problems from this occur when lay people are confused, or worse when certain groups use the innocent errors to further their agendas.
ArgumentumAdHominem (November 06, 2007, 19:48:17 PM):
Thanks scienceteacher. I was getting all militant about the use of the biological classification "ape". As you pointed-out, it is clearly meaningless to argue such a position, and you're right.

There are some interesting bugs in the world and I'm definitely no entomologist but I often point-out some weird ones to friends. A strange "thing" (not literally this foreign example, more like this) would land on a lettuce leaf at a braai and I'd say it's a "fly". Someone else would say "No ways, that too weird to be a fly, it's a wasp." But I'm determined in my classification, I can be proven right by consulting an encyclopedia, but that doesn't change the thing on the lettuce leaf at all. It still thinks it's a "me", not a "wasp" or a "fly" - the words we as observers are using are really not important.

This classification really falls apart when one species has branched over time to a new species. When does it cease being classified (at a high level) as a fish and suddenly become classified as an amphibian (like the Tiktaalik which is amphibious in nature but not classification - they say it's a "fishapod" - Inventing a new classification doesn't make it clearer). There are also moths which are butterflies and butterflies which are moths.

When is it no longer a "wolf" and is now a "dog" (although still classified as canines in a high-level classification, the lower-level classification is blurry)?

This last example was discussed in the Kent Hovind vs. Michael Shermer debate where Hovind is emphatic that "dogs come from dogs" which Shermer obviously can't challenge because it is a word game. It will lead to a discussion much like the one above where Hovind would point to a picture of dogs and ask "which of these dogs is not a dog?" Any answer is a victory because pointing at a dog defines it as a dog while refusing to answer the challenge is interpreted as "see, he agrees with me".

But there is a need for classification, and that is all I have been trying to do all along. Using the word "ape" as a complete description of a thing is invalid. You can't point to a creature and say "that is an ape and nothing else" because no such thing exists. Chimps are apes but they have more to them which makes them chimps. So all this time I've been trying to say that there is no one instance of a classification which is the classification itself.

To explore this in an analogy; consider that the newspapers tell us that Joburg has 300 000 new cars on the road every year. You can go to Investment Cars and say "I'd like to buy a car". The salesman will smile and say "How about this Porsche Carerra?" to which you can reply; "But that isn't a car, it's a sportscar". Perplexed the salesman might try a Hummer to which you can say "That's not a car it's a 4x4". He may go on to suggest a Mercedes C-Class which you can say is a sedan, not a car. You can then appear irritated and say "The newspaper tells me that there are 300 000 new cars on the road this year and the name of your company is Investment Cars and yet you can't sell me a car. If they can be counted they exist and yet they don't seem to exist because you can't sell me one. A car has wheels and carries its own propultion system and fuel source. These things you have shown me have so much more like suspension and seats and rubber tyres and petrol tanks and air conditioning."

Now try this with Investment Apes which stocks chimps, bonoboes, orangutans, gorillas, humans and a rare example of the common ancestor but it can't sell you an ape, a real true genuine ape which has no other properties.

The distinction that I've trying to make all along is that there is no car out there but there are cars everywhere. There is no ape and yet there are apes everywhere. So when metari1 was seeing the word "ape" he was expecting a thing when in fact when we use the word "ape" we are describing a blueprint of things, not one particular thing.

Oh dear, look at that, I've gone all militant again about language again.
metari1 (November 24, 2007, 19:38:36 PM):
The word evolution refers to the theory of evolution. I am using it as short-hand (as most people do) instead of typing-out the whole term again and again. This is common practice. Very seldom do you hear people refer to gravity as "the theory of gravitation" or people referring to planetary orbits as "the theory of planetary motion".
So "evolution" = "the theory of evolution" and can be interchanged.

Please quote me the formal Theory of Evolution. For example we all know that the pull between two objects are inversely proportional to their distances squared is a crisp clear theory as established by Newton. Likewise I would like to have the crisp clear formal
Theory of Evolution and perhaps where exactly in Origin of Species this theory was defined or established.
bluegray (November 24, 2007, 20:21:39 PM):
I'm sure someone would post a clear definition for you if you insist, however, I do not think it necessary. It is well documented elsewhere on the web (see links below, or google for more).

The example you mentioned describes the interaction between two very simple objects under certain conditions. That physical law is part of classic mechanics which is not adequate when those conditions aren't met. Since Newton, the theory of gravity has been revised and replaced numerous times. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_gravitational_theory

Likewise, the theory of evolution has also changed a lot since Origin of Species was published.
There is a summary of Darwin's theory on the wikipedia page for On the Origin of Species

Also the following wikipedia pages might prove useful:
Evolution
Evolution as theory and fact
metari1 (November 24, 2007, 20:31:13 PM):
I didn't say that the common ancestor was not an ape. I said that the common ancestor was not a Chimpanzee.


The point that the evolutionists made on talk.origins was that whatever word you want to use for this common ancestor ape, baboon, monkey or simian, the word is just the vernacular and thus wether monkey, ape or chimp the intent is clear. What really happened with "common ancestor" is that Bishop Wilberforce made great fun of the monkey man transition and thus "common ancestor" was invented to obscure this. CA also begs the question. We are simply told that all creatures diverged from a first CA and then because there was divergence we diverged from a CA. Well obviously we would have had to diverge from a CA how else could there then be different species, but this is just begging the question. Has anybody actually discovered the first living cell's fossil remains? Of course not, it would not have been possible to fossilize it so how do you even know there was a first common ancestor?

"...This thread http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/browse_frm/thread/3b7d9b411887c7b5/ec81c846c43a2ae7#ec81c846c43a2ae7 the consensus agreement amongst evolutionists themselves after debating it for three months on talk.origins was that the common ancestor is just weasel words to confuse the issues. The evolutionists themselves now agree that the it was in fact a flee scratching ape because the common ancestor would have looked like an ape to an observer back then...."

And thus my usage of "flee scratching ape" is the vernacular usage, I could have used monkey as well or anything we could identify as 'apeish'. And from the talk.origins thread many evolutionists agree with me that wether we call this "common ancestor" a monkey or ape or chimpanzee it was all just a huge intellectual scam to confuse the issues and obscure that the intent with CA was really
just to deceive the public and brilliantly make them believe they "evolved" without realizing that what this really means is something which hanged by its tail and played with its dick in public turned into a human.

The evolutionists themselves now agree that the CA was in fact a flee scratching ape because the common ancestor would have looked like an ape/monkey to an observer back then. Thus monkey, bonobo or chimp or whatever vernacular you might choose to use for something apeish - anything that will make you happy.

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