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essay evolution

essay evolutionEssay evolution -The researchers run signals through computers that are programmed to recognize many preset patterns.In ordinary life, explanations that invoke chance, necessity, or design cover every eventuality.Since “natural selection can only choose among systems that are already working,” there is no way that Darwinian mechanisms could have fashioned the complex systems found in living cells.The motor is held in place by proteins that act as a stator.But the odd sequences found within DNA are quite unlike a series of prime numbers.The report, printed in its entirety, opens with an introduction by Natural History magazine and concludes with an overview of the ID movement.Dozens of different kinds of proteins are necessary for a working flagellum.Dembski has no way to show that the genetic patterns are “set up in advance” or “independently given.” Dembski has been promoted as “the Isaac Newton of information theory,” and in his writings, which include the books he cites in the essay here, he insists that his “law of conservation of information” proves that natural processes cannot increase biological complexity.We now know that, far from being formed from a kind of simple, uniform protoplasm (as many nineteenth-century scientists believed), every living cell contains many ultrasophisticated molecular machines.Three proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) present their views of design in the natural world.The elegant work of Russell Doolittle has shown how evolution duplicated, retargeted, and modified these proteins to produce the vertebrate blood-clotting system.On the other hand, if the targets are set up in advance (“specified”) and then the archer hits them accurately, we know it was by design.From the perspective of the natural sciences, design, as the action of an intelligent agent, is not a fundamental creative force in nature.The sequence is therefore contingent rather than necessary. Note that if the sequence lacked complexity, it could easily have happened by chance.The point, which science has long understood, is that bits and pieces of supposedly irreducibly complex machines may have different — but still useful — functions.Behe’s contention that each and every piece of a machine, mechanical or biochemical, must be assembled in its final form before anything useful can emerge is just plain wrong. without the rest of the machine — it’s used by many bacteria as a device for injecting poisons into other cells.That is the totality of the biochemical “evidence” for intelligent design.The weight of the evidence that Darwin had patiently gathered swiftly convinced scientists that evolution by natural selection better explained life’s complexity and diversity.cannot imagine how the components that move proteins between subcellular compartments could have evolved, but scientists actually working on such systems completely disagree.Many scientists frankly admit their bewilderment about how they may have originated, but refuse to entertain the obvious hypothesis: that perhaps molecular machines appear to look designed because they really I am hopeful that the scientific community will eventually admit the possibility of intelligent design, even if that acceptance is discreet and muted.essay evolution(Prime numbers, of course, are those that are divisible only by themselves and by one.) When a sequence begins with 2 beats, then a pause, 3 beats, then a pause…If Behe wishes to suggest that the intricacies of nature, life, and the universe reveal a world of meaning and purpose consistent with a divine intelligence, his point is philosophical, not scientific.What’s more, within these sciences there are well-developed techniques for identifying intelligence.Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic trademark or signature — what I call “specified complexity.” An event exhibits specified complexity if it is contingent and therefore not necessary; if it is complex and therefore not easily repeatable by chance; and if it is specified in the sense of exhibiting an independently given pattern.Darwin himself set the standard when he acknowledged, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Some systems seem very difficult to form by such successive modifications—I call them irreducibly complex.The key proteins that clot blood fit this pattern, too.All the pieces have to be in place before you catch any mice.After years of receiving apparently meaningless “random” signals, the researchers discover a pattern of beats and pauses that corresponds to the sequence of all the prime numbers between 2 and 101.They also noted that these mechanisms “suggest in a natural way how the many and diverse compartments in eukaryotic cells could have evolved in the first place.” Working researchers, it seems, see something very different from what Behe sees in these systems — they see evolution.Scientists use the term “black box” for a system whose inner workings are unknown.Take away two parts (the catch and the metal bar), and you may not have a mousetrap but you do have a three-part machine that makes a fully functional tie clip or paper clip.Biochemistry textbooks and journal articles describe the workings of some of the many living molecular machines within our cells, but they offer very little information about how these systems supposedly evolved by natural selection.The important thing about specifications is that they be objectively given and not just imposed on events after the fact.Proteins are synthesized outside these compartments and can reach their proper destinations only with the help of “signal” chemicals that turn other reactions on and off at the appropriate times.One flaw in his argument is that he wants to define intelligent design negatively, as anything that is not chance or necessity.Nevertheless, in the natural sciences one of these modes of explanation is considered superfluous — namely, design.In a 1998 article in the journal , a group led by James Rothman, of the Sloan-Kettering Institute, described the remarkable simplicity and uniformity of these mechanisms.This constant, regulated traffic flow in the cell comprises another remarkably complex, irreducible system.Signals that do not match any of the patterns pass through the “sieve” and are classified as random.In the final analysis, the biochemical hypothesis of intelligent design fails not because the scientific community is closed to it but rather for the most basic of reasons — because it is overwhelmingly contradicted by the scientific evidence. essay evolution The section concludes with an overview of the intelligent-design movement by a philosopher and cultural historian who has monitored its history for more than a decade.In that book, however, I focus largely on examples from the human rather than the natural sciences.Ironically, Behe’s own example, the mousetrap, shows what’s wrong with this idea.To Charles Darwin and his contemporaries, the living cell was a black box because its fundamental mechanisms were completely obscure.Although does not fully present and analyze the intelligent-design phenomenon in the pages that follow, we offer, for the reader’s information, brief position statements by three leading proponents of the theory, along with three responses.Finally, it was not just complex but also exhibited an independently given pattern or specification (it was not just any old sequence of numbers but a mathematically significant one — the prime numbers).You can’t catch a mouse with just a platform, then add a spring and catch a few more mice, then add a holding bar and catch a few more.The main criticism of that work to date concerns whether the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection and random variation is not in fact fully capable of generating specified complexity.The propeller is attached to the motor by a universal joint.Likewise, he reasoned, the natural world contains abundant evidence of a supernatural creator.But the definition is rigged: necessity, chance, and design are not mutually exclusive categories, nor do they exhaust the possibilities.Natural selection can only choose among systems that are already working, so the existence in nature of irreducibly complex biological systems poses a powerful challenge to Darwinian theory.My reason for optimism is the advance of science itself, which almost every day uncovers new intricacies in nature, fresh reasons for recognizing the design inherent in life and the universe.** To understand why the scientific community has been unimpressed by attempts to resurrect the so-called argument from design, one need look no further than Michael J. He argues that complex biochemical systems could not possibly have been produced by evolution because they possess a quality he calls irreducible complexity.and continues all the way to 101 beats, the researchers must infer the presence of an extraterrestrial intelligence. There’s nothing in the laws of physics that requires radio signals to take one form or another.It follows that chance and necessity are insufficient for the natural sciences and that the natural sciences need to leave room for design. Dembski claims to detect “specified complexity” in living things and argues that it is proof that species have been designed by an intelligent agent.It consists of (1) a flat wooden platform or base; (2) a metal hammer, which crushes the mouse; (3) a spring with extended ends to power the hammer; (4) a catch that releases the spring; and (5) a metal bar that connects to the catch and holds the hammer back.Take away the spring, and you have a two-part key chain.How can we decide whether Darwinian natural selection can account for the amazing complexity that exists at the molecular level?Note that complexity in the sense of improbability is not sufficient to eliminate chance: flip a coin long enough, and you’ll witness a highly complex or improbable event.However, to support that view, one should not find it necessary to pretend that we know less than we really do about the evolution of living systems. essay evolution Thus, one cannot detect an intelligent agent by the process of elimination he suggests. This is so even when attempting to detect the imprint of human intelligence, but it is especially true when assessing the extraordinary claim that biological complexity is intentionally designed.Like their predecessors, however, they reject the idea that evolution accounts for the array of species we see today, and they seek to have their concept—known as intelligent design—included in the science curriculum of schools.Rather, blind natural causes, characterized by chance and necessity and ruled by unbroken laws, are thought sufficient to do all nature’s creating. But how do we know that nature requires no help from a designing intelligence?These antievolutionists differ from fundamentalist creationists in that they accept that some species do change (but not much) and that Earth is much more than 6,000 years old.The authors who contributed to this Natural History report are: The idea that an organism’s complexity is evidence for the existence of a cosmic designer was advanced centuries before Charles Darwin was born., I argue that specified complexity reliably detects design.More recently, in , I show that undirected natural processes like the Darwinian mechanism are incapable of generating the specified complexity that exists in biological organisms.We frequently observe such systems in cell organelles, in which the removal of one element would cause the whole system to cease functioning. They are outboard motors that bacterial cells can use for self-propulsion.Still another example is the exquisitely coordinated mechanism that causes blood to clot.Most biologists have concluded that the proponents of intelligent design display either ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation of evolutionary science.Even so, you’ll have no reason not to attribute it to chance.Essential to all these techniques is the ability to eliminate chance and necessity.Another example of irreducible complexity is the system that allows proteins to reach the appropriate subcellular compartments.Evolution produces complex biochemical machines by copying, modifying, and combining proteins previously used for other functions. Although the function performed by this small part when working alone is different, it nonetheless can be favored by natural selection.Certainly, in special sciences ranging from forensics to archaeology to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), appeal to a designing intelligence is indispensable.Just like mousetraps, these systems cannot function unless each of their parts is in place.All parts must function in synchrony or the system breaks down.They have a long, whiplike propeller that is rotated by a molecular motor.The catch of some mousetraps could be used as a fishhook, and the wooden base as a paperweight; useful applications of other parts include everything from toothpicks to nutcrackers and clipboard holders.The argument from design, as it is known, prevailed as an explanation of the natural world until the publication of the in 1859. essay evolution Since “natural selection can only choose among systems that are already working,” there is no way that Darwinian mechanisms could have fashioned the complex systems found in living cells. essay evolution




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