9
   

origin of species

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2016 11:43 pm
Im a little confused after finishing the book for class. It's so frustrating to me. Does Darwin not know he's contradicting his theory when he mentions a creator. First he says theres no way to distinguish species from varieties. Then he says the sexual selection of some phenotypic trait may result in more likely procreation eventually evolving a population. He never mentions the superiority of certain traits, just that some may prevail in a given environment. i dont think his theory imagines some wonderful outcome some perfect end. It's directionless adaptation so why the mention of god and the strong live weak die talk. Is his view of the creator controlling the forces of the directionless adaptation?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 1,767 • Replies: 54

 
InfraBlue
 
  4  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 12:11 am
@perennialloner,
In that closing paragraph, he writes about, "the Creator" breathing several powers into a few forms or one form which then went on to evolve most beautiful and most wonderful endless forms. He didn't mention a perfect end.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 04:36 am
@InfraBlue,
. PS a most excellently appropriate observation .
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 04:43 am
@perennialloner,
Can you provide the actual quote you are seeing so that we can see it in context?
perennialloner
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 05:34 am
@InfraBlue,
But he does imply progression even though his theory itself contradicts that, as there's no part of the theory that suggests such a progression. I meant the processes of natural selection are always working toward a perfect end with their most wonderful and perfect endless forms, unless hes simply enamored with the processes and their resulting forms regardless of their manifestation but I didnt interpret that
perennialloner
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 05:57 am
@rosborne979,
Its really all over. I think his language confuses his theory throughout. I said before he seems to be imagining a perfect end, not that he specifically writes it.

Some examples,

But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.

How have all those exquisite adaptations of one part of the organisation to another part, and to the conditions of life, and of one distinct organic being to another being, been perfected

He goes on to mention some species as examples
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 06:19 am
@perennialloner,
Is this for History, or for science. Darwin started our investigation into evolution. But science has advanced quite a bit since then in the almost two centuries that have passed.

If you are looking for an interesting discussion about history and the way that the society of Darwin influenced his thinking as he developed one of the most important ideas in Biology... than you are going in the right direction.

If you are looking for a scientific discussion about evolution, you should be talking about our current understanding based on what we now know about DNA, mutations and our modern knowledge of biological organisms.

What is your goal here?

perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 07:05 am
@maxdancona,
the first. i'm just confused with the rhetoric. I understand in the 1800s why he believed in a creator but it's unclear to me the part he thinks the creator plays. if natural selection is non-intentional, then is the creator behind the non-intention? it's weird to think a creator wouldn't want any part in his design.

and then there's this stuff about perfection, look below, when his theory accounts for suitability to environment, not "degree of perfection."

"As natural selection acts by competition, it adapts the inhabitants of each country only in relation to the degree of perfection of their associates; so that we need feel no surprise at the inhabitants of any one country, although on the ordinary view supposed to have been specially created and adapted for that country, being beaten and supplanted by the naturalised productions from another land.”

idk. it's like Darwin doesn't really know what he's talking about. or he's purposefully obscuring to make the book more appealing
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 08:54 am
@perennialloner,
Sure... Darwin was writing almost 200 years ago. He knew nothing about genes, DNA or microbiology.

You point out that Darwin "doesn't know what he is talking about. And you are absolutely correct. But don't be too hard on him... he lived in the 1800s. Compared to scientists today, Darwin knew less than a typical third grader understands today. That doesn't take away from the importance of the theory he first popularized about natural selection... but science has come a long way since then.

In other news, The airplane developed by the Wright Brothers was pretty crappy. It didn't go very fast and it was pretty dangerous. That doesn't take away from their accomplishment either.

I am still unclear about whether the thrust of your post is to talk about Science or about History. You tagged this as "Science"... but you seem to want to talk about history.

If you want to talk about the science, you should talk about what we have discovered about evolution in the almost 180 years of investigation since Darwin. We now have sequenced genomes, studied geological records, looked at changes in DNA, learned how to see our ancestry and understand genetic diseases and develop new drugs.

If you goal here is to make a comment on history... then sure, Darwin didn't know very much compared to what we know today. But that is to be expected and his basic idea turned out to hold up and be shown to be correct after hundreds of years of study, experiment and development.
perennialloner
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 09:25 am
@maxdancona,
i'm not trying to downplay his importance, the book's or his theory's

i'm trying to understand why there's a disconnect between the science, his theory, and the language, which is a lot of mumbo jumbo that sounds compelling but has no clear connection to the theory.

my question, precisely, is why he has this monumental theory based on things he sees but shrouds it in colorful words his theory does not directly support, and makes it easy for phrases like "survival of the fittest" to represent the work when his theory wasn't saying that. did he want people to misunderstand his theory?

maybe i'm missing something. but I wasn't trying to put him down. I want to understand why a lot of the language doesn't align with the observables his theory's based on, which, you're right, has to do with context.
farmerman
 
  4  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 09:33 am
@perennialloner,
Actually loner, You need to acquire the "Origin of Species"... a VARIORUM text, edited by Morse Peckham. published first in 1959. This is a classic text in which Peckham compares all 6 editions of "The Origin..." and the changes Darwin made in each one. This book is frustrating to science and a treasure to Darwin SCholars who admire Darwins ability at stuffing the goose and making money.

As to the assertion that progression is contradictory to Darwins throey . In ed 2 he dds several lines re: tht subject wherein his first addition he punts.

193.Ib The best definition (re progression) is, that the higher forms have their organs more distinctly specialized for different functions;and as such division of physiological labour seems to be an advantage to each being, natural selection will constantly tend in so far as to mke the lqtter and more modidfied forms higher than their progenitors, or than the slightly modified descendents of such progenitors...


In the third edition he goes hog wild and says: 193.I:c
...natural selection will constantly tend thus to render the organization of each being more specialized and perfect, and in this sense higher: not but that it may and will leave many cretures with simple and unimproved structures fitted for simpler conditions of life..."

I had fun many years ago opening this text and seeing how Darwin was ll over the map to try to have his theory better understood OR, in some cases , to avoid the pushback from his Christian colleagues.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 09:35 am
@perennialloner,
He abandoned a "creator"" except in the literry sense (kinda like Einstein and his God shooting craps". Darwin believed that others would enjopy a heaven qnd he wouldnt but his work ws relly methodologically naturlistic.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 09:42 am
@perennialloner,
The Theory of Evolution isn't considered a proven fact because of what Darwin wrote.

The Theory of Evolution is considered a proven scientific fact because it has been developed, studied, tested and confirmed over almost 200 years since Darwin wrote his theory. The evidence in favor of evolution is overwhelming which is why scientists (other than a few crazy people) not only accept it, but spend lifetimes using it to develop medicine and therapies that are curing diseases.

You are missing the fact that Darwin lived 200 years ago. He was writing for an audience that lived in the 1800s. Science has advanced quite a bit since then.

Darwin's idea was pretty cool. But if it hadn't stood up to the rigorous tests of science we probably wouldn't be talking about it.

Let me ask again. Do you intend to have a scientific discussion, or a historical one? Psychoanalyzing a famous person from the 1800s might be interesting, but don't confuse that with a discussion of science.

In science what matters is fact.
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 09:49 am
@farmerman,
I had that book, wonder if I still have it packed away..
0 Replies
 
perennialloner
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 09:58 am
@maxdancona,
I asked my question. Farmerman was kind enough to answer. Thank you farmerman. Your answer was very helpful. I looked into it and apparently mrs darwin was extremely religious.
Science wasnt the only tag I put. I didnt know putting science as a tag meant the discussion had to be about the advancement of the theory.
anyway, the questions answered.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 01:29 pm
@perennialloner,
Darwin does write with some flowery language doesn't he. But he's not trying to push for the idea of a "Creator", except possibly at the "Nature is God" level of things.

If I had to guess, I would say that his language is an attempt to soften the blow (of the implications he's delivering) to the theocracy of his day.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 03:12 pm
Whatever Darwin's intentions (and at one time they were to be a pastor), God and evolution are not mutually exclusive.

People tend to insist that God must work through magic finger pointing while it is entirely possible that evolution is part of his grand design.

We can't know for certain though, despite whatever anyone will tell you.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 04:07 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

But he does imply progression even though his theory itself contradicts that, as there's no part of the theory that suggests such a progression. I meant the processes of natural selection are always working toward a perfect end with their most wonderful and perfect endless forms, unless hes simply enamored with the processes and their resulting forms regardless of their manifestation but I didnt interpret that


Yeah, he tends to wax poetical and idealistically about evolution, but he also calls into question the notion of "perfection," in light of adaptations such as the stingers of the wasps and bees, "can we consider the sting of the wasp or of the bee as perfect, which, when used against many attacking animals, cannot be withdrawn, owing to the backward serratures, and so inevitably causes the death of the insect by tearing out its viscera?"
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 05:07 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
it is entirely possible that evolution is part of his grand design
so god is Tim the tool man? (Tim was always fuckin up)
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2016 09:08 am
@farmerman,
If you like. In my concept of God, he's not capable of mistakes we are capable of detecting.
 

Related Topics

There is a word for that! - Discussion by wandeljw
Best Euphemism for death and dying.... - Discussion by tsarstepan
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Question by lululucy
phrase/name of male seducer - Question by Zah03
Shameful sexist languge must be banned! - Question by neologist
Three Word Phrase I REALLY Hate to See - Discussion by hawkeye10
Is History an art or a science? - Question by Olivier5
"Rooms" in a cave - Question by shua
 
  1. Forums
  2. » origin of species
Copyright © 2017 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/16/2017 at 11:48:35