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Old 10-18-2017, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default Could fat drive the next step in evolution?

Making the bold assumption here that we all agree in some way with Darwin's theory, we all know that certain traits will cause a species to die out or survive.
Now all of us are educated people and we all know that obesity can cause certain problems, heart failure, diabetes etc, however some people seem to suffer from these at 250 - 300 pounds whilst others seem free of them at 500 or more pounds.
My question is this, do you think with the world's bulging waist lines, weak hearts and other such issues will evolve out of the human race leaving us a stronger yet fatter species? Or Not?
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Old 10-19-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by olly5764 View Post
Making the bold assumption here that we all agree in some way with Darwin's theory, we all know that certain traits will cause a species to die out or survive.
Now all of us are educated people and we all know that obesity can cause certain problems, heart failure, diabetes etc, however some people seem to suffer from these at 250 - 300 pounds whilst others seem free of them at 500 or more pounds.
My question is this, do you think with the world's bulging waist lines, weak hearts and other such issues will evolve out of the human race leaving us a stronger yet fatter species? Or Not?
That's not how evolution allegedly works. Evolution doesn't have a motive to enhance the well-being of the human species or any other. The type of evolution that allegedly results in visible changes to the biology of a visible species (macroevolution) is just what happens when the weak members of a species die off, leaving the strong behind, and this is unlikely to occur in humans anymore, because as individuals, we've reached a point where we have the ability to compensate for physical weaknesses through the use of our brains and social skills. I can, of course, picture antisocial people dying off, and leaving more-social people behind, which I'm sure would have mixed results for fatness in general.

In short, I wouldn't count on evolution if you're hoping for a fatter world someday. It's a better bet to just do what I do, and stake your bets on your fate in the afterlife.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:37 PM   #3
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If you actually read the post, the point about weaker genes dieing out was exactly what I said. We can only compensate for our weaknesses up to a point so yes certain things will not "evolve out"
The fact of the matter us that if current trends continue we WILL have a fatter world. At the moment the only way to fix obesity related problems us to loose weight, while individuals may be doing this, as a species we are not. Neither trend seems ready to change so the people with weaker bodies will die off, or do your social skills have a cure for heart failure and so on?
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:29 PM   #4
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For evolution to occur, the genes of the 'overtaking' members of a species must carry on, while those of the members being 'phased out' must not.

Your scenario would only play out if those with the characteristics you mention (heart failure and diabetes, for example) did not reproduce.

Given treatments available for all manner of health problems, most of the population will survive to reproductive age, including a greater number of those who (in times past, before medical advances) carry genes which could make them susceptible to early demise.

So, no.

In fact, if anything, I imagine humans are becoming increasingly 'immune' to evolution, and will become less adaptive to different conditions and less resilient to disease, because technology has made such traits unnecessary for the furtherance of the species.

Eventually, something may catch up to this weaker species of humans that cannot be overcome by technology, and wipe everyone out.*

Then this pretty little blue ball that we've infested will have a chance to flourish.

Interesting topic, though.


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* Unless eugenicists find a way to cease reproduction among those deemed 'unsuitable'...which would be far worse.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:56 PM   #5
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Darwin's Theory and general theory of evolution is too full of holes to use it as a basis for discussion
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:01 AM   #6
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If you actually read the post, the point about weaker genes dieing out was exactly what I said. We can only compensate for our weaknesses up to a point so yes certain things will not "evolve out"
The fact of the matter us that if current trends continue we WILL have a fatter world. At the moment the only way to fix obesity related problems us to loose weight, while individuals may be doing this, as a species we are not. Neither trend seems ready to change so the people with weaker bodies will die off, or do your social skills have a cure for heart failure and so on?
The problem is that heart failure, generally-speaking, doesn't prevent our species from carrying on its genes for another generation. That's only the case when people die of heart failure before their late teens, and let me put it this way; I knew a girl in high school who could not have weighed less than 600 pounds, and she had not died of heart failure by the time she graduated. In fact, she seemed very happy.

The fact is, you're supposed to die when you get older. We have a weird perspective on life expectancy because of modern medical science, but that doesn't, allegedly, change what evolution is.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:46 AM   #7
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For evolution to occur, the genes of the 'overtaking' members of a species must carry on, while those of the members being 'phased out' must not.

Your scenario would only play out if those with the characteristics you mention (heart failure and diabetes, for example) did not reproduce.

Given treatments available for all manner of health problems, most of the population will survive to reproductive age, including a greater number of those who (in times past, before medical advances) carry genes which could make them susceptible to early demise.

So, no.

In fact, if anything, I imagine humans are becoming increasingly 'immune' to evolution, and will become less adaptive to different conditions and less resilient to disease, because technology has made such traits unnecessary for the furtherance of the species.

Eventually, something may catch up to this weaker species of humans that cannot be overcome by technology, and wipe everyone out.*

Then this pretty little blue ball that we've infested will have a chance to flourish.

Interesting topic, though.


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* Unless eugenicists find a way to cease reproduction among those deemed 'unsuitable'...which would be far worse.
Now that's a fair point, (and more in line with the discussion I was hoping to provoke)
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:52 AM   #8
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The problem is that heart failure, generally-speaking, doesn't prevent our species from carrying on its genes for another generation. That's only the case when people die of heart failure before their late teens, and let me put it this way; I knew a girl in high school who could not have weighed less than 600 pounds, and she had not died of heart failure by the time she graduated. In fact, she seemed very happy.

The fact is, you're supposed to die when you get older. We have a weird perspective on life expectancy because of modern medical science, but that doesn't, allegedly, change what evolution is.
Firstly, not dieing of heart failure before you graduate does NOT equate to not having an early death due to obesity related issues.
Secondly, if she was that big and still healthy, she'd fall into the category that I'm suggesting evolution would tend to keep.
Thirdly, at no point did I suggest that she'd not be happy, if you die of a heart attack you can be very happy right up to the moment it hits so I'm not sure what your point regarding her happiness was.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:12 AM   #9
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Nowadays, being fat is not the exception, being fat is the norm.
Perhaps, one day in future only healthy people will be allowed to have own children.
Then, mankind will getting fatter and fatter without having (fat) diseases.
Fascinating vision: everybody in the world is very fat.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:02 AM   #10
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Nowadays, being fat is not the exception, being fat is the norm.
Perhaps, one day in future only healthy people will be allowed to have own children.
Then, mankind will getting fatter and fatter without having (fat) diseases.
Fascinating vision: everybody in the world is very fat.
Still the minority at the moment but certainly not an exception
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:13 AM   #11
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I suspect that, as a species, we won't be able to resist meddling in the genes of our progeny. Maybe not quite yet because we don't know the full impact of many gene changes, but soon enough. It will start with things like people with certain inheritable conditions going to in vitro fertilization and having embryos screened to get ones without those genes, then we'll move on to just editing those ones out, and gradually the list of things that are acceptable to do something about will grow and grow .... (and then there is the growing field of epigenetics, which may be an easier/faster form to do some tweaking?)

I suspect that this will drive our evolution much more than the old fashion form. Perhaps some of the genes we select for will help ensure health with a modern lifestyle, making people more resilient to high carb diets and less susceptible to blood pressure issues, etc. But I suspect that will be down the list behind ones that (supposedly) contribute to appearance, intelligence, and artistic or athletic performance.

In the old-fashioned form of evolution, family health can play a role in reproductive success, at least in social species like ours. Having greater financial and social support both while growing up and as a young adult can influence not just your romantic prospects but how many kids you feel comfortable having, and the childhood of those kids which can in turn influence their prospects .... It may not be a primary driver, but it is there. And we have had comparatively recent gene changes from evolution, like widespread lactose tolerance in areas where milk became an important nutrition source. So were our society to stay in a similar mode for a few centuries, I'd guess that there would be a gradual change to a larger portion of the population having better health prospects at larger sizes. But it isn't anything that I'd expect to see change dramatically or quickly.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:00 AM   #12
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Darwin's Theory and general theory of evolution is too full of holes to use it as a basis for discussion
Actually, evolution is one of the most thoroughly documented theories in the scientific community.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:35 PM   #13
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Firstly, not dieing of heart failure before you graduate does NOT equate to not having an early death due to obesity related issues.
Secondly, if she was that big and still healthy, she'd fall into the category that I'm suggesting evolution would tend to keep.
Evolution doesn't "keep" genes unless those genes are passed on, which is why I mention graduation. You'd need to die *very* young, or else be almost totally sterile in order for your genes to not be pass-on-able.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:47 PM   #14
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Actually, evolution is one of the most thoroughly documented theories in the scientific community.
Almost. "Evolution" is actually an umbrella term for three separate biological theories; "descent with modifications," "common ancestry" and "natural selection."

So it's actually three of the most thoroughly documented theories in the scientific community. Lots of people have studied these three theories, and have had plenty of time to discover which ones hold water, and how much water each one holds. Not only that, but they wrote down their discoveries, and most of those writings are fairly easy to learn about, especially now, with the internet and all.

The current consensus is that basically everyone acknowledges the first, the second is plausible, but disputed, while the third is largely considered an inadequate explanation for biological complexity in its entirety. Professor James M. Tour of Rice University, who takes apart (and puts back together) cells for a living, has remarked that if macroevolution works, he doesn't know how, and would like to invite any expert in the field to explain it to him. Not too long ago, a German biology conference was dominated by a discussion of how to explain biological complexity, now that the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary model was "dead."

That doesn't mean evolution is false, of course, but it does mean that there's still plenty we don't know about biological complexity and its history on planet Earth.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:06 PM   #15
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Almost. "Evolution" is actually an umbrella term for three separate biological theories; "descent with modifications," "common ancestry" and "natural selection."

So it's actually three of the most thoroughly documented theories in the scientific community. Lots of people have studied these three theories, and have had plenty of time to discover which ones hold water, and how much water each one holds. Not only that, but they wrote down their discoveries, and most of those writings are fairly easy to learn about, especially now, with the internet and all.

The current consensus is that basically everyone acknowledges the first, the second is plausible, but disputed, while the third is largely considered an inadequate explanation for biological complexity in its entirety. Professor James M. Tour of Rice University, who takes apart (and puts back together) cells for a living, has remarked that if macroevolution works, he doesn't know how, and would like to invite any expert in the field to explain it to him. Not too long ago, a German biology conference was dominated by a discussion of how to explain biological complexity, now that the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary model was "dead."

That doesn't mean evolution is false, of course, but it does mean that there's still plenty we don't know about biological complexity and its history on planet Earth.
Those three theories are compatible with one another, complementary to one another, and essentially are subsets of the overall theory of evolution.

Of course there's plenty we don't know about biological complexity and its history. We now have a large body of knowledge, however, that is expanding every day. Presently, evolutionary theory as a whole (there I go again, lumping it all together) has no serious scientific alternative. (By scientific alternative, I mean a theory that can be empirically tested and is falsifiable.)
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Old 10-22-2017, 04:18 AM   #16
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Evolution occurs by focussing on useful, desirable or even necessary traits to be passed on for ensuring the future of a species.

If you look at animal species that are naturally fat, encased in blubber - these are all those that (mainly) live in water. From tropical (hippopotamus) to Arctic/Antarctic waters (penguins, see lions, whales, etc.).
They all need their fat as insulation against hypothermia and protection of their body organs.

In times of central heating and all other sorts of technical amenities, this is less than ever true for humans.
And the limited gynaecological evidence there is actually points in the other direction: Female's pelvis' are statistically growing lesser. Meaning in former times only women with greater pelvis could count on safe child birth and passed this on to their offspring. Today, with safer C-sections and other forms of medical assistance, more women with a lesser pelvis are having children, passing it on - and changing the visual female ideal, btw.

So in answering to the OPs questions - currently evolutionary trends in humans are more stacked against fat winning.
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:34 AM   #17
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Those three theories are compatible with one another, complementary to one another, and essentially are subsets of the overall theory of evolution.

Of course there's plenty we don't know about biological complexity and its history. We now have a large body of knowledge, however, that is expanding every day. Presently, evolutionary theory as a whole (there I go again, lumping it all together) has no serious scientific alternative. (By scientific alternative, I mean a theory that can be empirically tested and is falsifiable.)
A scientific theory is a theory that can be shown to potentially be true through experimentation, testing or measurement, and actually, the main problem with all theories of life is just how hard it is to measurably prove them. There are actually several theories about where life came from (panspermia, for instance,) but the main obstacle to using measurement here is that evidence against common ancestry is not necessarily evidence for any/all of these theories, nor is the reverse; that evidence against these theories is evidence for common ancestry, true either. For this reason, the scientific enterprise has been largely split on this issue. Genetic mapping provides some evidence in support of common ancestry, but the fossil record has consistently provided evidence against it.

As for natural selection itself, it's so poorly-supported, that I'm convinced the only reason it's survived this long is the one that you just provided; it's the only available explanation if you want to avoid appealing to an intelligent creator of life. If, however, you have no such biases against the concept of the intelligent creation of life, and can therefore afford to be open-minded about where the evidence really leads, you begin to see that the only answer we have so far is; "We just don't know yet."
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:22 AM   #18
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A scientific theory is a theory that can be shown to potentially be true through experimentation, testing or measurement, and actually, the main problem with all theories of life is just how hard it is to measurably prove them. There are actually several theories about where life came from (panspermia, for instance,) but the main obstacle to using measurement here is that evidence against common ancestry is not necessarily evidence for any/all of these theories, nor is the reverse; that evidence against these theories is evidence for common ancestry, true either. For this reason, the scientific enterprise has been largely split on this issue. Genetic mapping provides some evidence in support of common ancestry, but the fossil record has consistently provided evidence against it.

As for natural selection itself, it's so poorly-supported, that I'm convinced the only reason it's survived this long is the one that you just provided; it's the only available explanation if you want to avoid appealing to an intelligent creator of life. If, however, you have no such biases against the concept of the intelligent creation of life, and can therefore afford to be open-minded about where the evidence really leads, you begin to see that the only answer we have so far is; "We just don't know yet."
A scientific theory is one that is falsifiable. A theory can never be proven to be absolutely true. As more and more tests are conducted and the tested theory remains unfalsified, the probability that the theory is true becomes greater and greater, but it never hits 100 percent. It's like approaching a target by going half the distance at a time. You can get ridiculously close, but you can never get there.

I have no biases against the concept of an intelligent creator of life - I just don't think it's a logical possibility. I don't think that's where the evidence leads, and I believe the probability is so low that it's not a reasonable expectation. I do agree that we just don't know yet - about any of the big questions concerning life or the universe. Our minds may not be advanced enough to ever grasp it all.
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:26 AM   #19
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A scientific theory is one that is falsifiable.
That's wrong. If I theorize that there are 27 prime numbers between 1 and 100, that's a theory which is falsifiable, but it is in no way scientific.

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A theory can never be proven to be absolutely true.
That also is wrong. The once-theory that the world is round can now be proven absolutely true, now that we can see it from space.

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As more and more tests are conducted and the tested theory remains unfalsified, the probability that the theory is true becomes greater and greater, but it never hits 100 percent.
I find it funny that you say this after claiming that you can't prove a theory to be absolutely true. Unless this claim, by you, is absolutely true, I have no reason to agree with it.

Keep in mind that probability must refer to a real thing in order to be a statement of truth. Otherwise, it's a falsehood.

Now, suppose that a man goes to the grocery store every week to pick up a pack of Jarina's Bacon. However, unbeknownst to him, the store owner just got a huge load of Kalman Bacan, and wants to get rid of it, but no one's buying it. So, he replaces the labels on the Kalman with Jarina's labels. The man may buy Kalman bacon without meaning to, and every week, will have more and more evidence that he's buying Jarina's bacon. However, that does nothing to change the fact that he is being deceived. Each week, he finds more evidence that he's buying Jarina's bacon, and each week, it has no effect whatsoever on whether he actually is or not.

This is why I don't put much stock in this kind of simplistic view of science. It provides proof of nothing and goes nowhere. In my experience, people rarely punt to this kind of anti-knowledge unless they have nowhere else to go in defending an unsupportable assertion.

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I have no biases against the concept of an intelligent creator of life - I just don't think it's a logical possibility.
There is, of course, a real probability calculus for determining authentic probability. However, for declaring something logically impossible, proof is required.

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I don't think that's where the evidence leads, and I believe the probability is so low that it's not a reasonable expectation.
As I just pointed out, the method you're using to determine probability is not adequate to provide evidence of things in a real-world sense.

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I do agree that we just don't know yet - about any of the big questions concerning life or the universe. Our minds may not be advanced enough to ever grasp it all.
Or we may be misinformed about certain things, based on deceptive or missing data.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:18 PM   #20
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:39 PM   #21
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Good one. I like this.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by TwoSwords View Post
That's wrong. If I theorize that there are 27 prime numbers between 1 and 100, that's a theory which is falsifiable, but it is in no way scientific.
If it's not scientific, then it's not falsifiable.

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Originally Posted by TwoSwords View Post
That also is wrong. The once-theory that the world is round can now be proven absolutely true, now that we can see it from space.
Nope. We've just falsified the theory that the earth is flat. Anyway, it's not perfectly round - just very close.

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Originally Posted by TwoSwords View Post
I find it funny that you say this after claiming that you can't prove a theory to be absolutely true. Unless this claim, by you, is absolutely true, I have no reason to agree with it.
I never said you had to. Never expected you to, either.

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Originally Posted by TwoSwords View Post
Keep in mind that probability must refer to a real thing in order to be a statement of truth. Otherwise, it's a falsehood.

Now, suppose that a man goes to the grocery store every week to pick up a pack of Jarina's Bacon. However, unbeknownst to him, the store owner just got a huge load of Kalman Bacan, and wants to get rid of it, but no one's buying it. So, he replaces the labels on the Kalman with Jarina's labels. The man may buy Kalman bacon without meaning to, and every week, will have more and more evidence that he's buying Jarina's bacon. However, that does nothing to change the fact that he is being deceived. Each week, he finds more evidence that he's buying Jarina's bacon, and each week, it has no effect whatsoever on whether he actually is or not.
Obviously falsehoods don't have much probability of being anything but false.
The guy who keeps buying Kalman has zero evidence that he's buying Jarina's, no matter how long he keeps buying it. His mind is only reinforcing his mistaken preconception.

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Originally Posted by TwoSwords View Post
This is why I don't put much stock in this kind of simplistic view of science. It provides proof of nothing and goes nowhere. In my experience, people rarely punt to this kind of anti-knowledge unless they have nowhere else to go in defending an unsupportable assertion.
Just can't resist being condescending, can you?

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As I just pointed out, the method you're using to determine probability is not adequate to provide evidence of things in a real-world sense.
Nope. Probability only provides information about how probable something is.

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Or we may be misinformed about certain things, based on deceptive or missing data.
And?

Okay, we're way off the thread here. Can we agree to disagree and drop this?
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:17 PM   #23
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Okay, we're way off the thread here. Can we agree to disagree and drop this?
Well, I wish this was the only thing in your reply, because I'd very much like to be able to do that, or to continue this discussion by PM, but there's a lot more here, and to keep it fresh, I'll respond to your points in inverse order.

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And?
And what?

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Originally Posted by fatgrllvr View Post
Nope. Probability only provides information about how probable something is.
Probability is itself a type of evidence, when it is correctly identified and calculated, and all evidence can be used to make a conclusion more likely than it would have been without it; usually in specific ways.

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Just can't resist being condescending, can you?
The claim that you can't be certain about anything is self-refuting and patently absurd, yet I've heard it, or some permutation of it, from literally dozens of internet posters and commentors who were backed into corners by logic. How am I supposed to react to it?

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Originally Posted by fatgrllvr View Post
Obviously falsehoods don't have much probability of being anything but false.
The guy who keeps buying Kalman has zero evidence that he's buying Jarina's, no matter how long he keeps buying it. His mind is only reinforcing his mistaken preconception.
Of course he has evidence; the evidence of the label on the package he bought. Nothing obvious about this falsehood.

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Originally Posted by fatgrllvr View Post
Nope. We've just falsified the theory that the earth is flat. Anyway, it's not perfectly round - just very close.
Round
1a (1) :having every part of the surface or circumference equidistant from the center (2) :cylindrical a round peg
1b :approximately round . a round face

Therefore, it has been definitively shown that the Earth is round, by definition 1b. That was the theory, not the Earth being flat. You're mistaken here.

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Originally Posted by fatgrllvr View Post
If it's not scientific, then it's not falsifiable.
verb (used with object), falsified, falsifying.
1.
to make false or incorrect, especially so as to deceive:
to falsify income-tax reports.
2.
to alter fraudulently.
3.
to represent falsely:
He falsified the history of his family to conceal his humble origins.
4.
to show or prove to be false; disprove:
to falsify a theory.

Nothing in any of those definitions about science being necessary for falsifiability. This just sounds like scientism to me.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:43 AM   #24
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Well, I wish this was the only thing in your reply, because I'd very much like to be able to do that, or to continue this discussion by PM, but there's a lot more here, and to keep it fresh, I'll respond to your points in inverse order.



And what?



Probability is itself a type of evidence, when it is correctly identified and calculated, and all evidence can be used to make a conclusion more likely than it would have been without it; usually in specific ways.



The claim that you can't be certain about anything is self-refuting and patently absurd, yet I've heard it, or some permutation of it, from literally dozens of internet posters and commentors who were backed into corners by logic. How am I supposed to react to it?



Of course he has evidence; the evidence of the label on the package he bought. Nothing obvious about this falsehood.



Round
1a (1) :having every part of the surface or circumference equidistant from the center (2) :cylindrical a round peg
1b :approximately round . a round face

Therefore, it has been definitively shown that the Earth is round, by definition 1b. That was the theory, not the Earth being flat. You're mistaken here.



verb (used with object), falsified, falsifying.
1.
to make false or incorrect, especially so as to deceive:
to falsify income-tax reports.
2.
to alter fraudulently.
3.
to represent falsely:
He falsified the history of his family to conceal his humble origins.
4.
to show or prove to be false; disprove:
to falsify a theory.

Nothing in any of those definitions about science being necessary for falsifiability. This just sounds like scientism to me.
Arghhh. Suffice it to say that (a) I disagree with most of what you're saying, (b) we're not likely to resolve our differences, and (c) this argument is descending into nit-picking. We're just hogging this thread, and I'm letting it go.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:35 PM   #25
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...I'm letting it go.
Fair enough.
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