Re: [asa] New fruit fly threat in Southern California

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Sat Aug 01 2009 - 16:30:58 EDT

What happened to the fruit fly challenge?

Your post below combines irrelavance & error. Of course a chemist who's investigating a reaction in the lab won't say she's doing "historical science." So what? The question is whether or not there's a hard & fast distinction between the two types of science. (Note my qualification. I am not saying - & never have - that there are no differences at all.)

& yes, that same chemist doesn't have to think about the origin of the universe, the solar system or even the lab in which the experiment is done. & again, so what? The fact that a scientist doing terrestrial experiments in the present isn't dealing with events of the past (except in the pedantic sense that it takes time for light to travel across the lab, the experiment may stretch over several days, &c) doesn't even remotely prove that a scientist who is dealing with events of the past is doing a fundamentally different kind of science.

& your last sentence is just wrong. If we could watch the history of the universe being run backwards we would see events at the level of elementary particles or atoms obeying the same laws that we see them obeying now (except for kaon decay). The earth orbiting the sun in a clockwise sense (instead of counterclockwise as it does now) would obey Kepler's & Newton's laws (approximately). Of course ireversible thermodynamic phenomena would look different but how is that relevant to the point at issue?

Shalom
George
http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alexanian, Moorad" <alexanian@uncw.edu>
To: "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>; "AmericanScientificAffiliation" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 1:22 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] New fruit fly threat in Southern California

George,

I would like you to tell me what experimental physicist would call himself/herself a historical scientist when he is acting as an experimental scientist qua experimental scientist. Just one! I am afraid it is you that refuses to see what to me is self-evident. Experimental science is based on experiments that go beyond the time that they are done as attested by the fact they are framed in terms of Laws of Nature. No experimental scientist would invoke anything that happened in the past, other that previously done experiments. Did Newton care a bit about how the solar system came about when he created theoretical/ mathematical physics on the basis of experimental results? If the history of the Universe were to be played backward in time like a film, what happened in the past would be obvious, no science would be required, but nowhere in that film you would see the Laws of Nature that we discovered through experimentation.

Moorad
________________________________________
From: George Murphy [GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com]
Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 12:31 PM
To: Alexanian, Moorad; AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: Re: [asa] New fruit fly threat in Southern California

The species Homo sapiens has evolved to the point of having trans-oceanic transportation. White fruit flies hitchhiked a ride on some fruit from SE Asia to California.
Experts in evolutionary biology may have some other response but my guess is that the situation was something like that.

Having said that, I have to point out that your "challenge" seems rather silly. I pointed out before that your tendency to make little snipes at evolution & "historical sciences" rather than be willing to engage in anything like sustained discussion on these matters is unhelpful. I will make so bold as to say that I & others on the list have pretty well demolished your attempts to show that there is a hard and fast distinction between historical sciences (& evolutionary biology in particular) & experimental sciences. Do you simply not understand the arguments? Or are you just going to bull ahead in spite of them? There's no disgrace in occasionally admitting that you're wrong.

Shalom
George
http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alexanian, Moorad" <alexanian@uncw.edu<mailto:alexanian@uncw.edu>>
To: "AmericanScientificAffiliation" <asa@calvin.edu<mailto:asa@calvin.edu>>
Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 8:48 AM
Subject: [asa] New fruit fly threat in Southern California

>I just read the following news item. Would you kindly get all the experts in evolutionary biology to solve this pending problem? However, they must solve the problem as evolutionary biologists not experimental biologists. Moorad
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> New fruit fly threat in Southern California
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> (AP) 17 hours ago
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> LOS ANGELES California agriculture officials say an infestation of the white striped fruit fly has been found in Los Angeles County, the first detection of the pest in the Western Hemisphere.
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> The fly is from tropical Southeast Asia and damages the fruit of many trees, especially guava and mango.
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> The state Department of Food and Agriculture said Friday that seven white striped fruit flies were found recently in traps in the La Verne area east of Los Angeles.
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> The state is beginning a mass trapping effort in a 15-square-mile area.
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> Traps placed in trees will contain an attractant to lure male flies and a small amount of pesticide to kill them. The strategy is intended to eliminate breeding.
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> Authorities will also treat the ground in the areas where the seven flies were found.
>
> Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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>
>
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Received on Sat Aug 1 16:31:43 2009

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