Falsifiability? Let's not be Naive. (Page 4)
Achilles942: "You asked about the predictability of evolution, much harder than predicting the weather, because of all the variables" - Kitty
Yes, you might as well consult an astrologer.
Or flip a coin.
So much for the predictive power of The Theory.
Looks like we're left with explanatory power then. In other words, wait till you see what happens, then jump out of the woodwork and spin a yarn to explain it.
It enjoys all the advantages of theft over honest toil.
Why, any fool could do it. And many do.
Achilles942: And I asked about ring-tailed lemurs, not deer with racks.
All good for ratings, though. Bless you.
Achilles942: Yes, yes, we know all about the Irish elk.
Another example of "Wait till it goes extinct then I'll tell you how that was exactly what The Theory predicts"
Of course, if it hadn't gone extinct, The Theory would still fit all the facts.
Do you have any before-the-fact predictions?
Achilles942: Sorry to be a killjoy, especially when the topic is racks, but you appear to have missed my questions, Kitty. Here they are again:
Just for the record, though, I'm sure I've asked this before, but I'd like it on the record....
1. What do you think the chances of your theory (whatever it is) being true are?
2. Is this an objective probability that compels the assent of any rational person? If so, can I see your working/work?
3. Or a gut feeling on your part? Something not unlike faith?
Never mind, I'll answer for you, on the grounds you seem to have lost your voice.
1. 100% -- in the true spirit of healthy skepticism
2 & 3. No, it's a subjective probability. A reflection of personal faith. I don't have any working to show because I'm full of hot air.
Achilles942: My own powerful theory predicts something will happen today.
But if it doesn't, nothing happening is still perfectly in accordance with my theory.
Compare: "Ring-tailed lemurs might go extinct within 500 years. Then again they might not"
Can't you fools see the breathtaking power of Darwinian theory?
kittybobo34: Achilles: simply put: Darwinian theory is: descent with modification. He believed that some organisms within a species have trait variants that make them fitter and more likely to reproduce., and guided by natural selection those random mutations guide the species into new paths, and eventually new species.
theHating: Achilles argument rests on the FRAMEWORK of the scientific method, not the science, kitty.
He just has a hard time explaining that in ways that dont put us to sleep.
Achilles942: "Achilles: simply put: Darwinian theory is: descent with modification. He believed that some organisms within a species have trait variants that make them fitter and more likely to reproduce., and guided by natural selection those random mutations guide the species into new paths, and eventually new species." - Kitty
Yes, that's my understanding of natural selection, too. Those organisms most able to survive and reproduce will tend to... er, survive and reproduce.
Achilles942: How can you go wrong with a theory like "Those Wireclub members with traits conducive to muting will tend to ....er, get muted"?
Achilles942: Can't you see? FFS!!!
Let's flesh out Kitty's words then....
"He believed that some organisms within a species have trait variants that make them fitter and more likely to reproduce"
And who are the fitter again? Those more likely to reproduce?
So by substitution we get (roughly)...
"Those organisms with traits that make them more likely to survive and reproduce will tend to survive and reproduce"
Cf. "Those people with traits advantageous to getting laid will tend to get laid more often than those without"
Hard to go wrong with a theory like that.
To break the circularity "fitness" would have to be defined without any reference to survival and reproduction.
This has never been done, despite some valiant attempts (try reading up on the "propensity" interpretation of fitness)
For now we're stuck with "those who survive survive"
Que sera sera.
Angry Beaver: IE: "The nerd is fitter for the job of IT specialist, but the quarterback is way fitter than the nerd
Achilles942: Well, Beaver, I'm not sure if you get the point -- it is a little subtle -- but as an exercise, define "fitness" without any reference to survival and reproduction.
If not, we're caught in a tautological loop.
Angry Beaver: Yes, he is fitter to do IT or... more suited..... footy player is fitter or, more buff