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Re: Cognitive Dissonance and Theistic Evolution

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  • gluadys
    ... How many theistic evolutionists will put their hands up and admit to being Neo Darwinists? ... Pretty much all of them, though it depends on what you mean
    Message 1 of 9 , May 2, 2013
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      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "wilson_brooks2003" <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote:
      >
      > From Will Brooks Thursday 2nd May 10.00PM GMT
      >
      How many theistic evolutionists will put their hands up and admit to being Neo Darwinists?
      >

      Pretty much all of them, though it depends on what you mean by Neo-Darwinist.

      The term has two meanings in scientific circles:

      1. Neo-Darwinism is most often used to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwin's natural selection that was worked out in the late 1930s. By this definition, all those who accept the theory of evolution as sound science are Neo-Darwinists, including evolutionary creationists (aka theistic evolutionists).

      2. Neo-Darwinism is sometimes used to refer to those scientists who hold that virtually all evolutionary change is adaptive change. So those who give a significant role to neutral evolution and/or historical contingency as producing evolutionary changes that are not necessarily adaptive do not consider themselves Neo-Darwinists in this sense. Evolutionary creationists make their own personal choice on this matter.

      This controversy has provided fruitful opportunities for creationists to engage in quote-mining; several scientists such as Stephen J. Gould and Lynn Margulis (both of whom disclaimed Neo-Darwinism in the second sense) are often mistakenly cited as disclaiming Neo-Darwinism in the first sense and even as renouncing Darwinian evolution altogether.


      Of course, your own definition of Neo-Darwinism may include concepts not mentioned above that theistic evolutionists don't accept. Rejection of your definition of Neo-Darwinism should not be understood as a rejection of either of the definitions above. Only of what you have added to them.
    • JamesG
      gluadys: (Neo-Darwinism) has two meanings in scientific circles: 1. Neo-Darwinism is most often used to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and
      Message 2 of 9 , May 2, 2013
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        gluadys: "(Neo-Darwinism) has two meanings in scientific circles:

        1. Neo-Darwinism is most often used to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwin's natural selection that was worked out in the late 1930s. By this definition, all those who accept the theory of evolution as sound science are Neo-Darwinists, including evolutionary creationists (aka theistic evolutionists).

        2. Neo-Darwinism is sometimes used to refer to those scientists who hold that virtually all evolutionary change is adaptive change. So those who give a significant role to neutral evolution and/or historical contingency as producing evolutionary changes that are not necessarily adaptive do not consider themselves Neo-Darwinists in this sense. Evolutionary creationists make their own personal choice on this matter.

        "This controversy has provided fruitful opportunities for creationists to engage in quote-mining; several scientists such as Stephen J. Gould and Lynn Margulis (both of whom disclaimed Neo-Darwinism in the second sense) are often mistakenly cited as disclaiming Neo-Darwinism in the first sense and even as renouncing Darwinian evolution altogether."

        It's no mistake to say that Margulis disclaimed neo-Darwinism in the first sense. In her own words:

        "This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists. They teach that what is generating novelty is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direction set by natural selection."

        And:

        "I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change -- led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence."

        How do remarks like those not amount to disclaiming neo-Darwinism in the first sense?

        Note: Margulis's comments were made in an interview that can be accessed here:

        http://discover.coverleaf.com/discovermagazine/201104?pg=68#pg70

        Jim in Missouri
      • gluadys
        ... The reference to natural selection is what indicates she is referring to the second sense. If one attributes all evolutionary change to natural selection
        Message 3 of 9 , May 3, 2013
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          --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "JamesG" <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > gluadys: "(Neo-Darwinism) has two meanings in scientific circles:
          >
          > 1. Neo-Darwinism is most often used to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwin's natural selection that was worked out in the late 1930s. By this definition, all those who accept the theory of evolution as sound science are Neo-Darwinists, including evolutionary creationists (aka theistic evolutionists).
          >
          > 2. Neo-Darwinism is sometimes used to refer to those scientists who hold that virtually all evolutionary change is adaptive change. So those who give a significant role to neutral evolution and/or historical contingency as producing evolutionary changes that are not necessarily adaptive do not consider themselves Neo-Darwinists in this sense. Evolutionary creationists make their own personal choice on this matter.
          >
          > "This controversy has provided fruitful opportunities for creationists to engage in quote-mining; several scientists such as Stephen J. Gould and Lynn Margulis (both of whom disclaimed Neo-Darwinism in the second sense) are often mistakenly cited as disclaiming Neo-Darwinism in the first sense and even as renouncing Darwinian evolution altogether."
          >
          > It's no mistake to say that Margulis disclaimed neo-Darwinism in the first sense. In her own words:
          >
          > "This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists. They teach that what is generating novelty is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direction set by natural selection."
          >
          > And:
          >
          > "I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change -- led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence."
          >
          > How do remarks like those not amount to disclaiming neo-Darwinism in the first sense?
          >


          The reference to natural selection is what indicates she is referring to the second sense. If one attributes all evolutionary change to natural selection (which is the only fully adaptive form of selection) one is Neo-Darwinist in the second sense. That view is what Margulis is objecting to, because she has found a different mechanism which she believes is at least equally, if not more important than natural selection: endosymbiogenesis.
        • David
          ... David Williams: http://discover.coverleaf.com/discovermagazine/201104?pg=68#pg70 Also from above interview: Some of your criticisms of natural selection
          Message 4 of 9 , May 3, 2013
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            --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "JamesG" <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > gluadys: "(Neo-Darwinism) has two meanings in scientific circles:
            >
            > 1. Neo-Darwinism is most often used to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwin's natural selection that was worked out in the late 1930s. By this definition, all those who accept the theory of evolution as sound science are Neo-Darwinists, including evolutionary creationists (aka theistic evolutionists).
            >
            > 2. Neo-Darwinism is sometimes used to refer to those scientists who hold that virtually all evolutionary change is adaptive change. So those who give a significant role to neutral evolution and/or historical contingency as producing evolutionary changes that are not necessarily adaptive do not consider themselves Neo-Darwinists in this sense. Evolutionary creationists make their own personal choice on this matter.
            >
            > "This controversy has provided fruitful opportunities for creationists to engage in quote-mining; several scientists such as Stephen J. Gould and Lynn Margulis (both of whom disclaimed Neo-Darwinism in the second sense) are often mistakenly cited as disclaiming Neo-Darwinism in the first sense and even as renouncing Darwinian evolution altogether."
            >
            > It's no mistake to say that Margulis disclaimed neo-Darwinism in the first sense. In her own words:
            >
            > "This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists. They teach that what is generating novelty is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direction set by natural selection."
            >
            > And:
            >
            > "I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change -- led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence."
            >
            > How do remarks like those not amount to disclaiming neo-Darwinism in the first sense?
            >
            > Note: Margulis's comments were made in an interview that can be accessed here:
            >
            > http://discover.coverleaf.com/discovermagazine/201104?pg=68#pg70
            >
            > Jim in Missouri
            >

            David Williams:

            http://discover.coverleaf.com/discovermagazine/201104?pg=68#pg70

            Also from above interview:

            Some of your criticisms of natural selection sound a lot like those of Michael Behe, one of the most famous proponents of "intelligent design," and you have debated Behe. What is the difference between your views?

            The critics, including the creationist critics, are right about their criticism. It's just that they have nothing to offer but intelligent design or "God did it." They have no alternatives that are scientific.
          • JamesG
            gluadys: The reference to natural selection is what indicates (Margulis) is referring to the second sense. How does it do that? You said that the first sense
            Message 5 of 9 , May 3, 2013
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              gluadys: "The reference to natural selection is what indicates (Margulis) is referring to the second sense."

              How does it do that? You said that the first sense of neo-Darwinism is this:

              "Neo-Darwinism is most often used to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwin's natural selection..."

              How does Margulis's objection to the neo-Darwinian proposition that evolution occurs via natural selection acting on random genetic mutations not amount to disclaiming neo-Darwinism in the first sense?

              gluadys: "If one attributes all evolutionary change to natural selection (which is the only fully adaptive form of selection) one is Neo-Darwinist in the second sense. That view is what Margulis is objecting to, because she has found a different mechanism which she believes is at least equally, if not more important than natural selection: endosymbiogenesis."

              That being the case, how could it be said that Margulis did not disclaim neo-Darwinism in the first sense? It seems clear to me that because Margulis regarded natural selection as being of secondary importance as a mechanism of evolution, she was taking exception to neo-Darwinism in the first sense. If you want to say she was also objecting to neo-Darwinism in the second sense, I won't dispute it. After all, she described neo-Darwinism as being "in a complete funk," so she was likely disclaiming it in whatever sense you want to assign to it.

              David Williams (quoting from the interview with Margulis):

              Q: "Some of your criticisms of natural selection sound a lot like those of Michael Behe, one of the most famous proponents of 'intelligent design,' and you have debated Behe. What is the difference between your views?"

              A: "The critics, including the creationist critics, are right about their criticism. It's just that they have nothing to offer but intelligent design or 'God did it.' They have no alternatives that are scientific."

              I expected you (or D R Lindberg, or gluadys) to jump on these comments by Margulis, and my expectation was fulfilled (well done for being the first). But it's plain from what she said about intelligent design that she knew very little (perhaps even nothing) about it. She simply repeated the opinion that is so popular (also so uninformed and erroneous) in Darwinian circles that ID, having nothing more to say than "God did it" (which ID, in fact, doesn't say at all), is not scientific. Margulis was a well-informed critic of neo-Darwinism, but with respect to ID, she clearly wasn't (at least it's clear that she wasn't to those who are well-versed in the ID literature).

              Jim in Missouri
            • David
              ... http://discovermagazine.com/2011/apr/16-interview-lynn-margulis-not-controversial-right FROM THE APRIL 2011 ISSUE Discover Interview: Lynn Margulis Says
              Message 6 of 9 , May 3, 2013
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                --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "JamesG" <JamesGoff_960@> wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > gluadys: "(Neo-Darwinism) has two meanings in scientific circles:
                > >
                > > 1. Neo-Darwinism is most often used to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwin's natural selection that was worked out in the late 1930s. By this definition, all those who accept the theory of evolution as sound science are Neo-Darwinists, including evolutionary creationists (aka theistic evolutionists).
                > >
                > > 2. Neo-Darwinism is sometimes used to refer to those scientists who hold that virtually all evolutionary change is adaptive change. So those who give a significant role to neutral evolution and/or historical contingency as producing evolutionary changes that are not necessarily adaptive do not consider themselves Neo-Darwinists in this sense. Evolutionary creationists make their own personal choice on this matter.
                > >
                > > "This controversy has provided fruitful opportunities for creationists to engage in quote-mining; several scientists such as Stephen J. Gould and Lynn Margulis (both of whom disclaimed Neo-Darwinism in the second sense) are often mistakenly cited as disclaiming Neo-Darwinism in the first sense and even as renouncing Darwinian evolution altogether."
                > >
                > > It's no mistake to say that Margulis disclaimed neo-Darwinism in the first sense. In her own words:
                > >
                > > "This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists. They teach that what is generating novelty is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direction set by natural selection."
                > >
                > > And:
                > >
                > > "I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change -- led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence."
                > >
                > > How do remarks like those not amount to disclaiming neo-Darwinism in the first sense?
                > >
                >
                >
                > The reference to natural selection is what indicates she is referring to the second sense. If one attributes all evolutionary change to natural selection (which is the only fully adaptive form of selection) one is Neo-Darwinist in the second sense. That view is what Margulis is objecting to, because she has found a different mechanism which she believes is at least equally, if not more important than natural selection: endosymbiogenesis.
                >

                http://discovermagazine.com/2011/apr/16-interview-lynn-margulis-not-controversial-right

                FROM THE APRIL 2011 ISSUE

                Discover Interview: Lynn Margulis Says She's Not Controversial, She's Right

                It's the neo-Darwinists, population geneticists, AIDS researchers, and English-speaking biologists as a whole who have it all wrong.

                From above:

                You claim that the primary mechanism of evolution is not mutation but symbiogenesis, in which new species emerge through the symbiotic relationship between two or more kinds of organisms. How does that work?

                All visible organisms are products of symbiogenesis, without exception. The bacteria are the unit. The way I think about the whole world is that it's like a pointillist painting. You get far away and it looks like Seurat's famous painting of people in the park (jpg). Look closely: The points are living bodies—different distributions of bacteria. The living world thrived long before the origin of nucleated organisms [the eukaryotic cells, which have genetic material enclosed in well-defined membranes]. There were no animals, no plants, no fungi. It was an all-bacterial world—bacteria that have become very good at finding specialized niches. Symbiogenesis recognizes that every visible life-form is a combination or community of bacteria.

                How could communities of bacteria have formed completely new, more complex levels of life?

                Symbiogenesis recognizes that the mitochondria [the energy 
factories] in animal, plant, and fungal cells came from oxygen-respiring bacteria and that chloroplasts in plants and algae—which perform photosynthesis—came from cyanobacteria. These used to be called blue-green algae, and they produce the oxygen that all animals breathe.

                Are you saying that a free-living bacterium became part of the cell of another organism? How could that have happened?

                At some point an amoeba ate a bacterium but could not digest it. The bacterium produced oxygen or made vitamins, providing a survival advantage to both itself and the amoeba. Eventually the bacteria inside the amoeba became the mitochondria. The green dots you see in the cells of plants originated as cyanobacteria. This has been proved without a doubt.

                And that kind of partnership drives major evolutionary change?

                The point is that evolution goes in big jumps. That idea has been called macromutation, and I was denigrated in 1967 at Harvard for mentioning it. "You believe in macromutation? You believe in acquired characteristics?" the important professor Keith Porter asked me with a sneer. No, I believe in acquired genomes.

                But if these symbiotic partnerships are so stable, how can they also drive evolutionary change?

                Symbiosis is an ecological phenomenon where one kind of organism lives in physical contact with another. Long-term symbiosis leads to new intracellular structures, new organs and organ systems, and new species as one being incorporates another being that is already good at something else. This major mode of evolutionary innovation has been ignored by the so-called evolutionary biologists. They think they own evolution, but they're basically anthropocentric zoologists. They're playing the game while missing four out of five of the cards. The five are bacteria, protoctists, fungi, animals, and plants, and they're playing with just animals—a fifth of the deck. The evolutionary biologists believe the evolutionary pattern is a tree. It's not. The evolutionary pattern is a web—the branches fuse, like when algae and slugs come together and stay together.

                Has that idea ever been verified?

                The sense organs of vertebrates have modified cilia: The rods and cone cells of the eye have cilia, and the balance organ in the inner ear is lined with sensory cilia. You tilt your head to one side and little calcium carbonate stones in your inner ear hit the cilia. This has been known since shortly after electron microscopy came in 1963. Sensory cilia did not come from random mutations. They came by acquiring a whole genome of a symbiotic bacterium that could already sense light or motion. Specifically, I think it was a spirochete [a corkscrew-shaped bacterium] that became the cilium.

                Don't spirochetes cause syphilis?

                Yes, and Lyme disease. There are many kinds of spirochetes, and if I'm right, some of them are ancestors to the cilia in our cells. Spirochete bacteria are already optimized for sensitivity to motion, light, and chemicals. All eukaryotic cells have an internal transport system. If I'm right, the whole system—called the cytoskeletal system—came from the incorporation of ancestral spirochetes. Mitosis, or cell division, is a kind of internal motility system that came from these free-living, symbiotic, swimming bacteria. Here [she shows a video] we compare isolated swimming sperm tails to free-swimming spirochetes. Is that clear enough?

                And yet these ideas are not generally accepted. Why?

                Do you want to believe that your sperm tails come from some spirochetes? Most men, most evolutionary biologists, don't. When they understand what I'm saying, they don't like it.

                When you talk about the evolutionary intelligence of bacteria, it almost sounds like you think of them as conscious beings.

                I do think consciousness is a property of all living cells. All cells are bounded by a membrane of their own making. To sense chemicals—food or poisons—it takes a cell. To have a sense of smell takes a cell. To sense light, it takes a cell. You have to have a bounded entity with photoreceptors inside to sense light. Bacteria are conscious. These bacterial beings have been around since the origin of life and still are running the soil and the air and affecting water quality.

                

You have attacked population genetics—the foundation of much current evolutionary research—as "numerology." What do you mean by that term?

                When evolutionary biologists use computer modeling to find out how many mutations you need to get from one species to another, it's not mathematics—it's numerology. They are limiting the field of study to something that's manageable and ignoring what's most important. They tend to know nothing about atmospheric chemistry and the influence it has on the organisms or the influence that the organisms have on the chemistry. They know nothing about biological systems like physiology, ecology, and biochemistry. Darwin was saying that changes accumulate through time, but population geneticists are describing mixtures that are temporary. Whatever is brought together by sex is broken up in the next generation by the same process. Evolutionary biology has been taken over by population geneticists. They are reductionists ad absurdum. 
Population geneticist Richard Lewontin gave a talk here at UMass Amherst about six years ago, and he mathematized all of it—changes in the population, random mutation, sexual selection, cost and benefit. At the end of his talk he said, "You know, we've tried to test these ideas in the field and the lab, and there are really no measurements that match the quantities I've told you about." This just appalled me. So I said, "Richard Lewontin, you are a great lecturer to have the courage to say it's gotten you nowhere. But then why do you continue to do this work?" And he looked around and said, "It's the only thing I know how to do, and if I don't do it I won't get my grant money." So he's an honest man, and that's an honest answer.

                Do you ever get tired of being called controversial?
                
I don't consider my ideas controversial. I consider them right.

                David Williams: Some people have quote mined this scientist, but she was in no way a creationist or intelligent design proponent.
              • JamesG
                David Williams: Some people have quote mined this scientist (Lynn Margulis), but she was in no way a creationist or intelligent design proponent. I know of
                Message 7 of 9 , May 3, 2013
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                  David Williams: "Some people have quote mined this scientist (Lynn Margulis), but she was in no way a creationist or intelligent design proponent."

                  I know of no design theorists (or creationists, for that matter) who think that she was. She had issues with neo-Darwinism, but she was no fan of ID theory (which she seemed to know virtually nothing about).

                  Jim in Missouri
                • gluadys
                  ... The difference between the first and second sense is about a matter of degree. Ever since Motoo Kimura proposed neutral evolution there has been a
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 3, 2013
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                    --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "JamesG" <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > gluadys: "The reference to natural selection is what indicates (Margulis) is referring to the second sense."
                    >
                    > How does it do that? You said that the first sense of neo-Darwinism is this:
                    >
                    > "Neo-Darwinism is most often used to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwin's natural selection..."
                    >
                    > How does Margulis's objection to the neo-Darwinian proposition that evolution occurs via natural selection acting on random genetic mutations not amount to disclaiming neo-Darwinism in the first sense?
                    >
                    > gluadys: "If one attributes all evolutionary change to natural selection (which is the only fully adaptive form of selection) one is Neo-Darwinist in the second sense. That view is what Margulis is objecting to, because she has found a different mechanism which she believes is at least equally, if not more important than natural selection: endosymbiogenesis."
                    >
                    > That being the case, how could it be said that Margulis did not disclaim neo-Darwinism in the first sense? It seems clear to me that because Margulis regarded natural selection as being of secondary importance as a mechanism of evolution, she was taking exception to neo-Darwinism in the first sense.
                    >
                    >


                    The difference between the first and second sense is about a matter of degree. Ever since Motoo Kimura proposed neutral evolution there has been a controversy in evolutionary biology about the relative weight to be given to various different mechanisms of evolutionary change. How much change is adaptive (i.e. driven by natural selection or selection for fitness) and how much change is due to other factors.

                    No one, including Margulis, Kimura, Gould or any other person cited as opposing Neo-Darwinism is suggesting that anything other than natural selection drives adaptive evolution. Everyone accepts that. So everyone of them is Neo-Darwinist in the first sense.

                    What they are questioning is that most evolution is adaptive. So it is a spectrum. Those who insist that most (even all) evolution is adaptive are Neo-Darwinist in the second sense. Those who hold that a very significant (possibly most) evolution is not adaptive, but due to other factors (none of which require anything other than natural processes) are opposed to Neo-Darwinism in the second sense.
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