Sexual Dimorphism, Mating Strategies, And Thou

| 19 Comments

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Big Ideas–one of my favorite podcasts–presents Marydianne Andrade’s lecture on sexual dimorphism and mating strategies. You can listen online here.

19 Comments

Waaaay off topic but it looks like Texas is now having some trouble.

http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/d[…]298e1cb.html

Hello, my name is Alex and I’ve been doing a lot of research on the evolution/ID controversy. It seems to me that there is something that the debaters on both sides have missed. My idea is that Irreducible Complexity and Specified Complexity looks for design in the structure of biological organisms, but that ID itself says that this structure could be the result of Intelligent Design of some other not-directly-related structure, because Dembski says that CSI can be distributed from system to system, for instance a watch might be designed whilst one of the by-products of the system, say a machine that picks up the signals from the watch and reconstructs part of it’s design. So, for instance, the sun might be intelligently designed, and thus transferring some CSI to the Earth inadvertently creating life. Because ID doesn’t directly state that the Designer is omniscient, it (They?), might not have foreseen the creation of life. This seems to me to be a pay-off between ID and evolution, as both theories might both be correct through my idea. What are your views on my idea? I have posted a similar comment outlining my concept on the Blog Uncommon Descent, and am awaiting an apply.

Al / Alex wrote:

It seems to me that there is something that the debaters on both sides have missed. … Dembski says that CSI can be distributed from system to system,…

We’ve been over this before here. You’re new here.

…Because ID doesn’t directly state that the Designer is omniscient, it (They?), might not have foreseen the creation of life. This seems to me to be a pay-off between ID and evolution, as both theories might both be correct through my idea.

But that doesn’t make ID science.

You might want to take your ideas here: http://www.uncommondescent.com/

And see how they feel about it.

PS – I have a blog now: http://normdoering.blogspot.com/

Al wrote:

So, for instance, the sun might be intelligently designed, and thus transferring some CSI to the Earth inadvertently creating life.

By what physical vehicle or material means is “CSI” “transferred” from one object/place to another? In order to test or verify this claim, you would have to show us a means of quantifying and describing “units” of CSI, before we could measure whether it was “transferred” from one object/place to another. Has Dambski done this?

And how, exactly, do you propose to test your idea?

Sorry to be rude, but your ideas are a very poorly-worded mishmash of abstractions, and nothing more.

And how do you propose to test that the Sun was intelligently designed? And I second Bee’s request for units and measures of CSI. And how is this idea different than ID? You’ve simply relocated the miracle, by the sound of it.

Actually, Norm, Al has taken his ideas to Uncommon Descent. So far they’re ignoring them, no doubt for the most obvious of reasons, that Al has nothing with which to “identify” ID.

So, for instance, the sun might be intelligently designed, and thus transferring some CSI to the Earth inadvertently creating life. Because ID doesn’t directly state that the Designer is omniscient, it (They?), might not have foreseen the creation of life.

Ah, yes, but Al you are taking their propaganda at face-value, without noticing that their entire myth is that the cosmos is supposedly designed for life, and that life specifically is designed (hint: they’re really theists trying to disguise their theism long enough to get it into the schools—if you check out UD’s blogs and posts you’ll note that they don’t disguise their theism very well). While it’s true that the sun “appears designed” about as much a flagellum does, someone like Behe will only allow that the flagellum was designed, not the sun (he might say that the cosmos was designed for the sun to evolve, cosmologically).

But anyway, what you seem to be calling “CSI” appears to be nothing more than relatively low-entropy energy. CSI is a nearly meaningless concept, circularly defined by IDists to produce an a posteriori “prediction” that what we see in organisms is the result of “design”.

If you knew what CSI really meant in some rigorous manner, then you might be able to produce a falsifiable hypothesis.

This seems to me to be a pay-off between ID and evolution, as both theories might both be correct through my idea.

You’re trying to accommodate evolution much as a reasonable theistic evolution might, as far as I can tell. What IDists do, by contrast, is to try to claim that evolution is impossible and then to default to “design” without any positive evidence in favor of said “design”. Your project has no appeal to them, while it utilizes terms like “CSI” that have no demonstrable meaning in science (other than in specific contexts, that is).

What are your views on my idea? I have posted a similar comment outlining my concept on the Blog Uncommon Descent, and am awaiting an apply.

There’s nothing really contrary to science in your ideas, they simply add nothing to the explanatory power of science. So you might perhaps work through such ideas with people who are interested in making religion compatible with science, yet for us your ideas are only apologetics.

I sort of wish I could be more positive toward your apparently honest attempts to bring ID and science together, however we fail to recognize any value in ID or “CSI” for the actual goals of science, which is explaining things as fully as possible.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

And now there have been some positive responses to Al’s musings:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/arch[…]omment-91707

It seems that most magical ideas are “worth considering” at UD. However, I maintain what I wrote previously, the truth is that IDists are religiously committed to detecting complexity, which they then call “design”, hence they can never warm up to any competing religious claim.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

Hello. I’ve just come back from the shops, so I haven’t looked at Uncommon Descent yet. I’m sorry to say that I feel misunderstood. I myself don’t believe in ID, but simply said that from the ID perspective, evolution could still be the undirected process that mainstream science says it to be, and so ID isn’t really an alternative. I was trying to see if the ID viewpoint was internally consistent, and perhaps thought that you would be interested in this argument against the controversy on which ID proponents have proposed to show ID to be a theory on par with evolution. Thank you for your input.

I was hoping for a lecture on the evolutionary origin of sex. Original dimorphism happened when asexual reproduction in organisms became bisexual. Although this lecture was interesting, it sort of left the question begging. Perhaps next Valentine’s Day PT can post something on this.

Al - It appears English is your second language. Perhaps someone here could begin a discourse with you in your original language, so that your ideas could come through in a more understandable fashion. Your 2nd to last sentence on your last post here does not make a whole lot of sense. Or you could just be a Creo Troll, which is another good reason for you not to make any sense.

Al clarifies his position some more:

Thank you for the response, I’ve posted similarly on the Panda’s thumb, to see what both sides would say to my concept. The thing I was trying to get at, which I seem to have not done (Sorry), was to state that because ID doesn’t suppose that the Designer is omniscient, that the events leading up to evolution might have been Intelligently Designed, such as the laws of physics and biology upon which the theory of evolution is based, but that evolution might still be true (in the way that evolution proponents state), in that the Designer might not have known that evolution would have occurred from these laws, which would make the theory of evolution viable in the ID mindset. Those on the Panda’s Thumb say that I’m incorrect to base such a conclusion on the concepts of CSI, but presuming that ID is valid, is the idea that the designer isn’t omniscient a downfall for the ID proponents’ opposition to the theory of evolution.

I apologise to you all. I AM a creationist troll, and through your wonderful answers to my stealth-mode beliefs in such, have decided to wholly embrace the theory of evolution and break out of the shackles of my own irrational thinking. My sole reason for posting my concept on this blog was to show how a proponent of evolution might undermine the bedrock of an ID proponent’s thinking, but seems to have not, (At least not in my words, (At least not from what I’ve read)). I have tried to bypass the question of whether I am a proponent of either theory because I was afraid that I would get attacked on that basis. I’m trying to think like an ID proponent (Who REALLY need a collective noun), so that I could see if my critique of ID is valid. I just thought you guys might be interested in a novel argument against ID, which uses it’s main tenets against itself. If you want to push me for my own views on evolution, that’s another matter entirely.

Al, I presume you’re responding to this:

Or you could just be a Creo Troll, which is another good reason for you not to make any sense.

In which case relax. Mostly you were asked to clarify your position. So just do that. In particular, can you answer for me what you mean by

So, for instance, the sun might be intelligently designed, and thus transferring some CSI to the Earth inadvertently creating life.

Or, answer Glen’s objection that there’s no explanatory value in your idea.

buho-

there are dozens of excellent presentations on the evolution of sex on the internet;

just do a google search on evolution sex and you will find plenty of great references.

for a general overview, wiki is a nice starting spot, also a very quick overview here:

http://biomed.brown.edu/Courses/BIO[…].of.Sex.HTML

when you feel you want to dive into some actual research papers on the subject, you might want to try this:

http://www.nature.com/nrg/focus/evo[…]ndex_mf.html

most college-level biology textbooks also have an overview on the current theories regarding the evolution of sex; you might try reading Futuyma’s Evolutionary Biology (you can get used copies cheap online, and most libraries have copies).

If you have specific questions, you might like to pose them in the forum for PT, which is the “After the bar closes” area. The link is in the menu bar to the right.

speaking of sexual selection, I am always reminded of the excellent work John Endler did on Poecilliids (guppies) looking at contrasting selection pressures and their effects on male secondary sexual attributes.

PBS even made a neat little web page for kids (and adults), to experiment with some of the simpler aspects of this system:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/s[…]y/index.html

oh, BTW - Bruho, that site also has a nice presentation on the evolution of sex itself as well.

I find that there is no better way to get in the mood than listening to a lecture on sexual dimorphism. Once again scientist prove that they are stodgy unromantic types who would take the magic out of their own grandmothers cookies if they had the chance, shame, shame, shame.

sorry, Tim, but I think you were looking for the porn site down the hall.

Ok. When pushed, I’d have to say evolution seems to me a much more probable answer than ID. When I said about the sun I was trying to emulate what a IDist (?), might say. My position is Evolution advocate, my concept doesn’t need explanatory evidence because it is against ID, and tries to show that it’s main concepts are flawed.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on February 14, 2007 12:44 PM.

Tangled Bank #73 was the previous entry in this blog.

Note from Kansas is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter