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How does this plant do this?


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Custard,

Your question is not without merit. In fact, I've been just as dubious when trying to comprehend the extreme precision and complexity single-celled organisms and their organelles seem to achieve.

Take, for instance, an embryonic organism. This organism, using only a blueprint written in DNA format, can create entire organs in perfect shape/size/location, a hundred miles worth of fine, precise neural networks, blood vessels, arteries, intestines, etc all weaved through each other at the right place. It gathers resources like carbon, iron, etc all and places them where they need to go and builds things from them to construct a fully capable human being - and it does this with no awareness, no brain, no eyes or sensory apparatus. It builds a person blindly, with no way of knowing if it messed up.

We as a people consider animals dumb. We especially consider single-celled organisms as nothing compared to us. Yet in reality, it seems they're able to accomplish things we, with our billions of brain cells, couldn't begin to construct or design. It's an interesting thought game.

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It's great you've grasped the concepts. The world will seem a much more magical and special place from now on.

I feel bad disappointing someone who has helped me understand but i'm afraid i don't feel that way Monkeh, i don't feel happy about it neither do i feel wonder, i accept it because i understand it (finally!) and it makes sense to me, the unbelievable cruelty meted out to trillions of biological "failures" by a blind machine in search of survivability horrifies me, i feel only a sense of great loss and sadness because the last few hopes i had of ever seeing my lost loved ones again are gone, and gaining the truth has not been a worthwhile trade-off for the hope i have lost, it has been i feel an inevitable journey for me, i followed my curiousity and up to this point had failed, but it just so happens the people on this forum are excellent teachers, and i could only see the truth in front of me.

Edited by Custard Donut (In Space)
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In our world today, tails might not be such a bad thing for reproduction, or green skin, or fur and pointy ears, or blue skin and red/white eyes and pointy ears etc. etc. As proof, I link you to a couple of pictures from the last two star trek movies:

Kirk in bed with greenskinned beuty: http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121220011059/memoryalpha/en/images/3/37/Gaila_seduces_Kirk.jpg

And, Kirk in bed with two aliens with tails (my favorite)

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/06/24/katie-and-kellie-cockrell-interview/trek-kirk-twins/

Anyway, my point is, if we where to start selectively breed humans for our beneficial traits, we might as well insert favorable traits of different kinds as well. With todays diverse taste, I am positive that a lot of different traits easily could make itself way into humankind´s genepool that way, and still make us a fit and sucessfull race. As an added benefit, it would help with creating a diverse genetic pool to reduce the chance of innbreeding. (Huh, I´d never imagined I´d advocate artifically breeded humanoid feelines, greenskinned and tailed, elves and drow to help divercify the human genepool, but there it is)

A problem I can see arise would be social acceptance. When certain individuals start yelling in public at a complete stranger how much they hate their haircolor, I´m not so sure we puny humans are worthy of tampering with the human genome for evolutionary purposes just yet. Earlier attempts have usualy ended in hairy cases of genocide and narrow-minded political stupidity doing more harm than good.

So just like evolution on a genetic scale, makrosocial evolution isn´t that dependent on single individuals, even if some of us would have loved to see Drow´s, Elves, Unicorns and humanoid felines in the park. Genetics isn´t a holy grail until stupidity have been eradicated. And with evolution, that´s never going to happen.

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Phillip K Dick wrote a really interesting short story called the Golden man, now i think about it, any of you remember that one? he had evolved an ability to see a few seconds into the future but had no higher thought processes, everything he did was on instinct and apparently, he was the future of mankind.

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...the unbelievable cruelty meted out to trillions of biological "failures" by a blind machine in search of survivability horrifies me...

This is probably the wrong way to think about it. Each individual along the line, on average, will have lived it's life in the best way it could. Yes, some would have slept with empty bellies or some even in pain or distress of some kind or other, but the changes that happen are small and over a long time and there are plenty of perfectly evolved animals who live in pain and fear today. There is no machine or big search going on, just genes producing individuals that live their lifes and are successful or not depending on their current environment.

...i feel only a sense of great loss and sadness because the last few hopes i had of ever seeing my lost loved ones again are gone...

Woah there. Evolution should not interfere with your faith. It is possible to have an after life and the theory of evolution co-exist. Just because this exquisite theory makes the book of genesis look a little silly doesn't mean your loved one's aren't out there waiting for you. But that's a religious discussion and not allowed on these forums.

...and gaining the truth has not been a worthwhile trade-off for the hope i have lost, it has been i feel an inevitable journey for me, i followed my curiousity and up to this point had failed, but it just so happens the people on this forum are excellent teachers, and i could only see the truth in front of me.

Notice how this theory is called just that. Only idiots will tell you evolution is true. Fact is it's a theory. A beautiful, elegant, very hard to argue with theory, but theory never the less.

It needn't destroy any of your other key beliefs or philosophies. I know of many religious people who believe in the theory of evolution and still maintain and practice their faith. It's just an explanation for our glorious world and it's massive range of flora and fauna that doesn't require a few days of omnipotent effort.

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Please don't conflate the colloquial definition of the word "theory" with the concept of "scientific theory."

I don't think he was, Monkeh seems pretty gripped up on the topic. He was merely pointing out that science doesn't attempt to present immutable facts or Truthâ„¢. It merely provides the latest and most useful interpretation of the limited data we have.

Something doesn't become a theory unless it's quite complete and well-evidenced, but at no point does the theory get upgraded to become indisputable fact.

Edited by Seret
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I don't think he was, Monkeh seems pretty gripped up on the topic. He was merely pointing out that science doesn't attempt to present immutable facts or Truthâ„¢. It merely provides the latest and most useful interpretation of the limited data we have.

.

Which can be shown, in information theory, to converge to the truth ( up to an isomorphism ). so the distinction you are making is in fact a distincition without difference.

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i don't feel happy about it neither do i feel wonder, i accept it because i understand it (finally!) and it makes sense to me, the unbelievable cruelty meted out to trillions of biological "failures" by a blind machine in search of survivability horrifies me, i feel only a sense of great loss and sadness because the last few hopes i had of ever seeing my lost loved ones again are gone, and gaining the truth has not been a worthwhile trade-off for the hope i have lost

.

Cheer up, it will get better. what you are experiencing, is just a hangover from the indoctrination you have been intoxicated with. As a starting point, I can point out two things.

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First, even if evolution didn't exist, creatures would still die and devour each other. The only difference is, that they would not get better at surviving.

.

Second, I guess, your hope of seeing your deceased relatives was like "evolution does work, therefore the particular deity I believe in had to poof all current life into existence manually and therefore afterlife as described by my religion exists". But this is not a chain of reasoning, this is just a chain of non sequiturs - the first part does not follow - even if evolution didn't happen and the world was manually edited by some sentient entity, there is no guarantee, that it was the deity of your religion - it could be some else, or even something very un-divine even malevolent so there might be no afterlife even in an created world. And the same goes in the other in the other direction as well. The mere fact of evolution does not exclude any deities or afterlife. After all, something omnipotent might create a world without/with evolution as it pleases. So these two issues, evolution and the existence of gods/afterlife are completely mutually independent and one can not judge from one on the other.

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.

Which can be shown, in information theory, to converge to the truth ( up to an isomorphism ). so the distinction you are making is in fact a distincition without difference.

The inability to disprove an observed truth is not the evidence of its infallibility as a truth. Monkeh and Seret are in the right here; at no time were they confusing scientific theory with the English definition of theory.

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The inability to disprove an observed truth is not the evidence of its infallibility as a truth.

I never said it was. I merely said that scientific theories can be mathematically proven to converge to the truth ( defined as complete agreement between the model and the modeled phenomenon) in the limit.So saying that scientific theories don't have anything with the truth, is wrong.

Edited by MBobrik
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Please don't conflate the colloquial definition of the word "theory" with the concept of "scientific theory."

"A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.[1][2] Scientists create scientific theories from hypotheses that have been corroborated through the scientific method, then gather evidence to test their accuracy. As with all forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and do not make apodictic propositions; instead, they aim for predictive and explanatory force."

That's the first paragraph from your 'scientific theory' link.

"Well substantiated..."

"...based on a body of knowledge..."

"Scientists create scientific theories from hypotheses..."

"...then gather evidence to test their accuracy."

"As with all forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and do not make apodictic propositions; instead, they aim for predictive and explanatory force."

Not a truth, not a fact, just all those fancy grouping of words that make it reasonably clear that it's the best we got for now...but probably the way things work.

Arguing the semantics is a very pleasing past time for some, but the issues raised here don't need it really. Fact is, evolution is not a fact. You see what I did there?

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Fact is, evolution is not a fact. You see what I did there?

Evolution, defined the standard way, as a change of trait frequency in time, has been directly observed in the fossil record - the various anatomical features of the fossils have changed in time. So it is a fact. The scientific theory of evolution, merely explains how this observed fact came to be.

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Didn't I say we don't need to argue semantics!

Damn you :D

You are correct, it's a fact evolution has happened/is happening, I should have written, "Fact is, the theory of evolution by natural selection is not a fact...", but that's like, six more words to type, and ain't nobody got time for that :)

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"Fact is, the theory of evolution by natural selection is not a fact..."

well, an explanation is not a fact. well, duh... :wink: But I didn't want to talk semantics too. What I wanted to say, and failed to get across, is, that saying like "the theory of evolution is not a fact it is just a theory", falsely implies, that it is something far more doubtful / not solid enough. Which is not the case. An extremely well tested scientific explanation of something might have comparable certainty to the explained scientific fact.

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well, an explanation is not a fact. well, duh... :wink: But I didn't want to talk semantics too. What I wanted to say, and failed to get across, is, that saying like "the theory of evolution is not a fact it is just a theory", falsely implies, that it is something far more doubtful / not solid enough. Which is not the case. An extremely well tested scientific explanation of something might have comparable certainty to the explained scientific fact.

The word theory doesn't imply anything of the sort. It's a label for an idea, explaining some observations. The theory of evolution by natural selection may have more evidence going for it than my theory of a race of super midgets living on the surface of the sun, I grant you, but they're both theories and the word that describes them as such implies nothing of their respective validity or merit.

Anyway, we both are strong supporters of the theory in question, (no one ever calls it the "Fact of evolution by natural selection", do they?), so now we're just willy waving for fun. I'm off to build a rocket or two. Have fun.

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(no one ever calls it the "Fact of evolution by natural selection", do they?

No one ever calls it the fact of gravity either. Or the fact of special relativity. Or the germ fact of disease. I presume you take those theories for granted as established knowledge and wouldn't bother to even argue semantics about them. Add to this that natural selection is only a piece of evolutionary science. It is a mechanism for reducing variability in a population. And since it has been observed both in the laboratory and in the field, it is as much fact as any other observed phenomenon.

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OK, the game crashed and this what I refresh to. That's the point I'm making. No one calls them facts because they aren't. Just because they're very well established theories doesn't make them fact, absolute truth.

Need I remind you of other scientific theories, taken as fact, that have become ridiculed? Flat Earth, aether, centre of the universe, odours carrying disease, heck, to use one of your own examples gravity, totally 're-facted' by Einstein, black holes couldn't exist once upon a time, a physics fairytale no less, then some guy named Hawking 're-facted' that old gem....the list goes on and on. Are we at the end of our science journey? Is there nothing left to discover? Is it a fact that a human will never walk on the surface of a neutron star? Until we find a way to manipulate gravity, heat, space, time and probably loads of other things I don't fully understand, then yes, it's impossible, give us a couple of million years and who knows?

There are no facts. Just loads of things that are really, really, really probable or improbable.

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OK, the game crashed and this what I refresh to. That's the point I'm making. No one calls them facts because they aren't. Just because they're very well established theories doesn't make them fact, absolute truth.

Most scientists would be happy to agree with you; the issue with respect to evolutionary science is that any concession that there are limits to knowledge becomes a foot in the door for insane people (>40% of people in the U.S. believe that the world was created in 7 days) to cast doubt on established scientific knowledge. We're not talking about the difference between Newton and Einstein here; we're talking about people who, observing the apple fall, insist that it is still hovering in mid-air. We can say for certain that gravity is an observable phenomenon that actually does occur... in fact. Likewise evolution.

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I think a major problem with the development of humans is that evolution is VERY VERY SLOW. And if you look at the technological and cultural advancements we experience as a race were evolving at light speed. This means that our physical and mental traits are trying to adapt to this development but it's simply going to slow. The way we think and behave is very much dictated by our instincts, and before some emotional poetry nut crack make their case, every emotion like anger, love, happines etc. those are all traits that are a natural part of our genom which we got from the monkeys (I know it's actually apes but that makes it sound like we aren't apes anymore). I believe that many of these emotions are standing in our way as they haven't adapted to the modern society. And at our current progression rate evolution won't catch up anytime soon (unless gen manipulation becomes a normal practise).

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Since I didn't read the last comments I didn't realise we were discussing the definition of a theory and not evolution :P now back to the discussion :D

The way I see it is:

A fact is a phenomenon that has been repeatedly observed and can be considered proven. ex. gravity is a fact.

A theory is a more or less plausible explanation for this phenomenon. ex. the theory of relativity.

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Need I remind you of other scientific theories, taken as fact, that have become ridiculed? Flat Earth, aether, centre of the universe, odours carrying disease, heck, to use one of your own examples gravity, totally 're-facted' by Einstein, black holes couldn't exist once upon a time, a physics fairytale no less, then some guy named Hawking 're-facted' that old gem....the list goes on and on.

Just to nitpick, the Flat Earth has never been a scientific theory. That the Earth is round has been known since Aristotle, and it has been by far the mainstream view at least amongst scholars and educated people since the late antiquity or very early Middle Ages.

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That the Earth is round has been known since Aristotle, and it has been by far the mainstream view at least amongst scholars and educated people since the late antiquity or very early Middle Ages.

True. Magellan sailed to the Spice Islands via the Straight of Magellan because they believed that it was shorter to go that way than via the Cape of Good Hope. That belief was based on Ptolemy's estimate of the size of the Earth from the time of the ancient Greeks. They were surprised by the true size of the Pacific when they sailed across it, because Ptolemy's estimate was about 30% smaller than the Earth's true size.

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