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The Ultimate Evolutionary Discontinuity

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JGuy made the following comment in response to my comment in that thread:

I like your comment on the guys from three hundred years ago. This is the kind of stuff that amazes me…today, we think we (conditioned society) are so much more civilized and evolved.. bah!.. I say, you take the most intelligent person three hundred years ago, and put him in all the same schools as today’s most intelligent person. I’d put my bets on the less degenerate genes/mind of 300 years ago.

The guys I referred to were the great mathematicians Lagrange and Euler, who lived almost 300 years ago and came up with the basic mathematics we now use in computational fluid dynamics.

JGuy is a young-earth creationist, which I am not, but he makes a good point. The same intelligence it took invent the math of Lagrange and Euler would be required to invent the bow and arrow, given what was known at the time. If I were stripped of all my modern knowledge I doubt that I would be clever enough to figure out how to chip a piece of flint with a sharp edge, attach it to a shaft, attach feathers to the other end to stabilize the arrow’s trajectory, and invent and string a bow to store the lethal energy in the arrow.

The step-by-tiny-step hypothesis of Darwinism is ludicrous. It didn’t happen that way, on the molecular level or any other level. Evolution is most assuredly characterized by profound and obvious discontinuity.

And the most profound of all discontinuities is the appearance of humanity.

Comments
I’m merely asserting that evolution has no goal and, therefore, no ending point.
Why must something have an ending point in order to have a goal? Can something which is cyclical have a goal? Even a circular argument can have a goal.Mung
May 26, 2011
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Ilion: I didn't say it would happen or that speculation of that kind is science. I'm merely asserting that evolution has no goal and, therefore, no ending point.ellazimm
May 24, 2011
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"Perhaps some other primates will become more like us in the future. They exhibit tool construction and use." Yeah, I see your point ... stripping the leaves off a twig, so as to use it to "fish" for termites, or using two rocks, which just happen to be lying there as hammer-and-anvil to break open tough nuts, is actuallt the first step on the road to making a bow and arrows or making a stone axe. "Perhaps some other primates will become more like us in the future." Darwinism 101 -- as long as one can assert that something *might* happen, or *might* have happened, then one is doing "sound science." Simply amazing.Ilion
May 24, 2011
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Gil: Perhaps some other primates will become more like us in the future. They exhibit tool construction and use. Sadly, their populations are severely reduced now which cuts down on the opportunities for variation to be created. Actually, even some birds exhibit tool use. And octopuses and dolphins and whales are pretty damn smart as well. Some may even have a rudimentary language. What is your measure of 'evolve like humans did'?ellazimm
May 23, 2011
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My point is not that the abstraction required to invent the bow and arrow (although substantial) is qualitatively equivalent to the abstraction required to invent mathematics, it is that human intelligence in general is unequaled by countless orders of magnitude by any other life form. The sudden, profoundly evolutionary discontinuous appearance of humanity with such inventiveness is yet another in a long series of evidences that Darwinian gradualism should be put at the summit of the ash heap of pseudoscience. And, one must ask, If the creative power of random mutation and natural selection is as advertised, why didn't other simian ancestors evolve like humans did? Based on the evidence I'll place my bets on the notion that humans are created in the image of God, but in a fallen state. I vaguely recall having heard that proposition.GilDodgen
May 23, 2011
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ps. I'm not dogmatic on that. It's just a simple "victimless" bet regarding my hunch based on simple reasons.JGuy
May 23, 2011
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@Mung & Bruce I wouldn't argue against the idea that there exists a difference between the kinds of intelligence required for those two activities. And I'm not sure from reading Gil's post that he would argue against the idea or not. Perhaps, not meaning to speak for Gil, he meant the same intelligence in the sense that it would require some kind of tenacious intelligence altogehter. Regardless, is that the main point? My point (in the other posting) was that I hold that the gene's of our ansceters were less degenerate than our genes today. Different in such a way that while [seemingly rationally] assuming that gene health precedes brain health, and brain health corresponds to optimizing potential intelligence... that I would bet that our most intelligent anscesters raised today [somehow] would have dominated today's most intelligent - i.e. anscestore would be shown to have superior IQ's over modern man. Modern man is not born with a more keen sense of higher mathematics than our anscestors of centuries or millenia ago. I think the distribution of KINDS of intelligence are probably similar, BUT the level of optimization of those brains are [I'm betting] not.JGuy
May 23, 2011
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Gil, I agree with Mung on this one. The invention of technology like a bow and arrow is essentially a response to practical problems facing a human being, and the response involves manipulating the concrete. This is not to belittle it. It takes creativity and intelligence. However, the invention of mathematics is an entirely different order of mental activity, involving as it does levels of abstraction from the physical. I teach mathematics, and I have met many who are imaginative, intelligent people, quite capable of creative problem solving in the concrete but who are totally at sea when facing the kind of abstraction that characterizes mathematics. In fact, it is one of the arguments against a Darwinist view of human evolution that the capacity to do mathematics, philosophy, music, etc., are entirely unnecessary for human survivability, whereas the ability to invent a bow and arrow certainly could not be so characterized.Bruce David
May 22, 2011
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Hi Gil, You are wrong. One does not have to understand the mathematics of computational fluid dynamics in order to take a drink of water from a moving stream. The same intelligence it took invent the math of Lagrange and Euler would be required to invent the bow and arrow, given what was known at the time. Again, you are wrong. It would not require the same intelligence to come up with the bow and arrow. You, as well as anyone, should understand the difference between mathematics and stone throwing.Mung
May 22, 2011
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