Monday, May 31, 2010

A Compass That is Never Right

What good is a compass that is never right? Evolution certainly is not that bad, but it is telling how often Darwin’s idea, mandated to be a fact, is so far off base. Consider for example the kangaroo genome, which turned out to be similar to the human genome. As one evolutionist explained:

There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order. Which really surprised us, we thought they’d be completely scrambled, but they’re not, there’s great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome.

It was a surprise because under evolution humans and kangaroos must be quite distant relatives. Evolutionists believe a small mouse-like species split into two lineages—the marsupials and the placentals—about 150 million years ago. And according to evolutionists that mouse-like species eventually turned into, among other things, a kangaroo in the one lineage and into a human in the other.

With that much evolutionary distance the kangaroo and human genomes should have evolved substantial differences. Sometimes evolution gets it right but often the theory, which evolutionists claim is mandatory for making sense of all of biology, just looks foolish.

76 comments:

  1. LOL! Ah Cornelius, you're always good for a laugh! Although I must say your formula is getting a bit stale:

    1. Comb the popular press literature for a science story given a sensationalist spin by the local non-technical writer

    2. Don't bother reading the scientific literature or trying to understand the actual results and/or significance of the research

    3. Wave your arms and proclaim loudly "ZOMG Evolution gets everything wrong wrong wrong!!"

    Why don't you just cut straight to Ray Comfort mode: "WE SHARE 40% OF OUR DNA WITH A BANANA!!" and be done with it?

    Simple fact is, the conservation of genetic sequences between species with common ancestry is neither shocking nor unexpected - it's been know for over 40 years now. The calculated overall genetic distance in MY between humans and kangaroos falls exactly where predicted based on the fossil record. All this study did was determine which sequences were conserved.

    Here's a better question for you

    What is the ID explanation for these genetic findings?

    You're good at throwing stones at things you don't understand, but woefully short on alternate explanations.

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  2. Cornelius -

    I'm confused.

    These people found that kangeroo genes and human genes to be much more similar than they expected... and this is evidence AGAINST evolution?!?!

    Surely this is even BETTER evidence for evolution than they were expecting?

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  3. Ritchie: "I'm confused"

    So what else is new?

    Join the ranks of the confused with thorton et al.

    You 2 are amazing at not getting the point

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  4. I thought evolution was supposed to make predictions? Is that the point here? That their predictions were way off?

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  5. Uh, yeah. What's the problem here? 'Cause the actual implication of the data is this: you can get a lot of new phenotype out of an only slightly tweaked genotype, relatively speaking (pun may or may not be intended). If humans and kangaroos are that similar, then it wouldn't take much genetic change to convert any given generic mammal into either. Say, for example, something exactly as close genetically to one as it is to the other? Just for fun, let's also say this creature lived in the past and possessed phenotypic traits seen in both. Bet there's a term for such an organism....

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  7. Evolution does not predict a full shuffling of the deck regarding genomes. Some multi-gene units are functionally linked for a reason-they belong to imprinting units, control regions, etc. So they are more constrained than the genome at large. Other regions are more or less prone to rearrangement based on location, and prevalence of repeats. In contrast to the constant rate of 'point' mutations, genome rearrangements are not proposed to have a constant rate across lineages.

    So, another non-prediction has been falsified. Score another one for Dr. Hunter?!?

    The genomicist is expressing the utility of studying these 'surprisingly' constrained regions. Although the article poorly conveys it, she is describing how they imply functionality:

    "By finding where genes are in kangaroos, researchers can now predict where similar genes might be in humans."

    For example, search in pubmed for "Kangaroo Genome Graves" turns up a number of excellent articles by her (all supporting evolution!)

    Here is a review by her describing these methods, her evolutionary predictions, and their experimental confirmations:

    The kangaroo genome. Leaps and bounds in comparative genomics.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12612602

    Prof. Jenny Graves is fairly famous. You should at least be familiar with how this sort of work (in platypus) led to the prediction that a candidate sex-determining gene, ZFY could not be the major mammalian sex determining gene, which led to the discovery of SRY. It is a textbook example of the predictive power of evolutionary genomics, and I think it got the cover of Nature twice.

    "Sequences homologous to ZFY, a candidate human sex-determining gene, are autosomal in marsupials. Nature 336: 780-783"

    One of my more recent favorites:

    Recent assembly of an imprinted domain from non-imprinted components.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez
    "We present the first in-depth study of how a human imprinted domain evolved, analyzing a domain containing several imprinted genes that are involved in human disease. Using comparisons of orthologous genes in humans, marsupials, and the platypus, we discovered that the Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome region on human Chromosome ..."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19630942

    Even if you weren't familiar with this work, Google and Pubmed could have allowed you to dive deeper. Or do you just search for "surprise + evolution" and stop with whatever comes up?

    I suspect the latter.

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  8. Gary -

    I enjoy open and frank debate, and I do not generally take offense to people insulting me or my sensibilities if they are sincerely trying to explain their point or support their claims.

    But I take a rather dim view on people who offer nothing but personal comments and abuse - as, I would hope, would Cornelius Hunter who, in my view, whatever his views on science are, remains a hostipable blog host.

    Name-calling and insults won't get anyone anywhere.

    Make a point which contributes to the debate or shut up.

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  9. "What good is a compass that is never right?"

    If one has been able to note the direction to which it never points, then one has a pretty good idea where True North lies. ;-)

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  10. Are kangaroo genes closer to humans genes than, lets say, cow genes? And are hey closer than lizard genes? I'm just asking.

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  11. Gary "Ritchie: “I'm confused"
    .
    So what else is new?
    .
    Join the ranks of the confused with thorton et al.
    .
    You 2 are amazing at not getting the point
    "

    Ritchie "I enjoy open and frank debate, and I do not generally take offense to people insulting me or my sensibilities if they are sincerely trying to explain their point or support their claims.
    ...
    Name-calling and insults won't get anyone anywhere.
    .
    Make a point which contributes to the debate or shut up.
    "

    Ritchie,
    You God-damned lying hypocrite! Not only do you hypocritically attempt to condemn others (though, of course, only of “the enemy”) for engaging in *your* own favorite faults, but you lyingly accuse those others of engaging in your own favorite faults so that you may then “call them out.”

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  12. Fil, Gary, Ilion, the question still stands for you guys too

    What is the ID explanation for these genetic findings?

    You guys like to strut and bluster, but when it comes to providing actual ID explanations (like the ID explanation for atavism) you guys all suddenly get cold feet and vanish. Why is that?

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  13. Ilion -

    1) You accuse me of engaging in pointless abuse? Give me an example of when I have done so.

    2) I am quite blatantly not lying - Gary made an entire post which contained personal comments aimed at me and no point relevant to the discussion. You even cited it in your post! How can you call it a lie?

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  14. Thornton: "What is the ID explanation for these genetic findings?"

    Translation: "Unless the IDists can explain these genetic findings -- and *I* get to judge whether their explanation "works" -- then the IDists are not allowed to point out that these genetic findings are contrary to Darwinism."

    Thornton: "You guys like to strut and bluster, but when it comes to providing actual ID explanations (like the ID explanation for atavism) you guys all suddenly get cold feet and vanish. Why is that?"

    Translation: "Isn't it just the coolest thing to be lying hypocrite?"

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  15. Ilion -

    That is not an answer for Thorton. That is an evasion (with a side of personal abuse thrown in).

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  17. Thornton. I am not strictly an IDer. I read Stephen Meyers book and, though you might disagree, it made some good arguments. But I believed in a God before I ever even heard of the term ID. Can we measure God? If he is made up of a spirit body like the Bible says how can we tell? Honestly? We can't. He can't be measured. You can't take a piece of him and check DNA if he has none. So if you are looking for us to show you God, then by my definition, if I could show him to you then he wouldn't be a God. That being said I have had people in my life lie to me, and despite not knowing the truth I know they are lying.(This is not a claim that you are lying, I'm sure you are sincere.) The point is I don't always need proof of truth to know what falsehood is. Sorry I can't be more scientific for you...but honestly I don't care if I convice you or not.


    And by the way I still think science is cool. We learn ridiculous amounts of things from nature that have tremendous practical applications in our lives. Too bad as humans we can't always make practical application in a positive way.

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  18. Natschuster asks: "Are kangaroo genes closer to humans genes than, lets say, cow genes? And are hey closer than lizard genes? I'm just asking. "

    Fair question. Have a look at the phylogenies in this 1998 paper:

    http://kaikoura.bio.purdue.edu/pwlabdoc/pwaddell/Referred_Journal_Articles/Cao_JWWTMOPH_98.pdf

    Although the subject of the paper is the inconsistent placement of some eutherian mammals, you can easily see that the marsupial mammals, including a representative from the Macropus genus is consistently the outgroup, indicating greater genetic distance in the nested hierarchy shown.

    Also, the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b for the marsupials is 6 base pairs longer than that for eutherian mammals (i.e. 2 codons inserted). As such insertion events are rarely fixed in highly expressed genes such as cyt b, this is further good evidence for their relative distance in molecular evolution from humans, versus the likes of mice or cows.

    Although not represented in the same paper, yes, kangaroo nucelotide sequences for homologous genes are closer to humans than lizards are.

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  19. Ilíon says:"Thornton: "What is the ID explanation for these genetic findings?"

    Translation: "Unless the IDists can explain these genetic findings -- and *I* get to judge whether their explanation "works" -- then the IDists are not allowed to point out that these genetic findings are contrary to Darwinism."


    I don't doubt that this is your translation, i.e. from English to Ilíonspeak. This is exactly the reason why you never hear what Thornton or anyone else is actually saying.

    We all get to judge whether an explanation works. If - IF - an observation contradicts a standing theory, then either an alternative explanation with better predictive power is needed or the standing theory is going to be modified. Science builds upon science. We do not simply throw out everything at the first sign of adversity.

    Darwinism is not protected wholesale in evolutionary theory. A good example would be the neutral theory of molecular evolution - a widely accepted rejection of Darwinism at the DNA level. Its adoption occurred in light of evidence of sequence divergence and the assumed 'cost' of natural selection, that indicated selection couldn't be responsible for observed sequence change. Sadly for its founder, Kimura, neutral theory has not really stood the test of time so well in recent years, but for decades it certainly enjoyed decades of broad acceptance. So don't tell me that anything non-Darwinian is rejected out of hand, and don't conflate Darwinism with the whole of evolutionary theory.

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  20. "That is not an answer for Thorton. That is an evasion (with a side of personal abuse thrown in)."

    No one is answerable to the silly demands of the willfully ignorant and intellectually dishonest.

    Until you people *stop* being intellectually dishonest, your intellectual dishonesty, and the willful ignorance which follows directly from it, is the only rationally possible topic of discussion between yourselves and rational persons.

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  21. David: "Ilion,

    Take your meds.
    "

    How like you folk to liken bluntness about the topics for which you prefer obfuscation to a chemical imbalance in the brain. But then, in your imaginary world, *all* thought is ultimately a chemical imbalance in the brain, nicht wahr?

    I wonder, is there a med for *your* problem?

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  22. "Darwin’s idea, mandated to be a fact, is so far off base."

    in briefly scanning through the posts here, this is something i noticed in most of them. you don't seem to have a clear or consistent notion of what 'evolution' is. you speak of 'darwin's idea' as if he were the sole originator of the idea, or that his works were ever accepted as anything like dogma. darwin was wrong about a lot of stuff--but so what? so were galileo, newton, copernicus and other giants. his revolutionary insight--that life changes over time, and that different groups changing in different ways produces the variety of life that we see before us--remains the foundational and organizing principle of biology because it IS true, despite that he was wrong in many details.

    taking this post specifically, you're talking about Darwin's idea as if it included genomes when in fact Darwin was writing a hundred years before we discovered the structure of the DNA molecule. and what the researcher is saying is that he expected there to be rather more large-scale structural differences between human and kangaroo genomes than they actually found. okay ... so? how on earth is the idea that there are FEWER genetic differences between humans and kangaroos than expected evidence that they didn't evolve from a common ancestor?

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  23. Ilion -

    And still the insults keep coming.

    *sigh*

    By the way, it would be nice for you to support your accusations of me as a hypocrit and liar as I have asked you to - a request you chosen to ignore apparently, or to recieve an apology.

    I won't hold my breath, though.

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  24. I will never apologize for speaking truth; I will never play "Prove it again!" with persons constitutionally indisposed to honesty.

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  26. You have not shown your accusations to be true at all. You called me a liar and hypocrit for chastising Gary for his unproductive abusive posts.

    A gentleman would indeed back up such libellous claims or apologise.

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  27. You anti-gentlemen really ought to figure out that fewer and fewer persons are impressed by, much less imtimidated by, your intellectual dishonesty and false moral assertions.

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  28. Ilion -

    We are going round in circles. You are just insulting me over and over again without ever actually supporting your claims.

    Your links take me back to previous posts on this thread - posts which do not support your insults at all.

    I give up. You apparently do not feel the need to either support your accusations nor apologise for them.

    I really don't know why I thought you might. I am disappointed in you, but not surprised.

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  29. ID provides a better explanation in this case. The designer was preliminarily testing bipedal locomotion for use in humans. It needed to copy paste a bunch of code. Point for ID.

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  30. Silly fool, my links go right back to where I intend them to go ... for you are dishonest, and a hypocrite, as is seen from the start.

    As I've already said, I am under no obliation to play "Prove it Again!" just because you will never admit that it has been proven.

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  31. Fil: "So if you are looking for us to show you God, then by my definition, if I could show him to you then he wouldn't be a God."

    Who said anything about God? I thought we were discussing the genetic makeup of humans and kangaroos. The ID folks keep telling us ID is not about God, no siree, it's just about explaining the evidence. But virtually every last one of them ends up invoking the Christian God as the Designer when pressed.

    That's reason #1 why ID isn't scientific. Science doesn't do Gods, any Gods. I personally have no problems with any religion, think it's a wonderful thing to help the human spirit. But it's not science, and as such I'll fight to keep it out of science classrooms where it most certainly does not belong.

    "And by the way I still think science is cool. We learn ridiculous amounts of things from nature that have tremendous practical applications in our lives. Too bad as humans we can't always make practical application in a positive way."

    I can name dozens of practical uses for evolutionary theory and resultant discoveries. Can you name even one practical thing that has come from ID?

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  32. Ilion: "You anti-gentlemen really ought to figure out that fewer and fewer persons are impressed by, much less imtimidated by, your intellectual dishonesty and false moral assertions."

    And even fewer are impressed with your content-free rants and insults in lieu of any actual scientific arguments.

    If you can't provide an ID explanation for the observed data, just say so. No reason to act like a horse's ass.

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  33. Thornton: "I can name dozens of practical uses for evolutionary theory and resultant discoveries."

    Not really.

    The only "practical" application of 'modern evolutionary theory' is to justify the generation of new grant proposals for further funds to conduct studies premised on 'modern evolutionary theory' being true … ‘cause, you know, one of these days now, if enough money is thrown at the problem, the headlines will read, “Evolution Finally Seen In Action!

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  34. "If you can't provide an ID explanation for the observed data, just say so."

    Foolish, foolish man. The point here is not whether or not the IDists can explain the data. The point today is that the data is contrary to 'modern evolutionary theory' -- that will remain true regardless of whether ID explains it.

    "No reason to act like a horse's ass."

    When you (plural) behave as rational men, I shall treat you as rational men. I promise.

    But, so long as you behave irrationally and illogically (and dishonestly!), I shall continue to mock you behavior.

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  35. Hey Ilion, explain to me why the application of evolutionary theory in evolutionary algorithms works.

    In artificial intelligence, an evolutionary algorithm (EA) is a subset of evolutionary computation, a generic population-based metaheuristic optimization algorithm. An EA uses some mechanisms inspired by biological evolution: reproduction, mutation, recombination, and selection. Candidate solutions to the optimization problem play the role of individuals in a population, and the fitness function determines the environment within which the solutions "live" (see also cost function). Evolution of the population then takes place after the repeated application of the above operators

    Or (chuckle) maybe you could give me the ID explanation.

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  36. Ilion: "Foolish, foolish man. The point here is not whether or not the IDists can explain the data. The point today is that the data is contrary to 'modern evolutionary theory' -- that will remain true regardless of whether ID explains it."

    Except the data is not contrary to evolutionary theory, not even a little bit. If you spent more time actually studying the topic and less time slinging insults you wouldn't be so scientifically ignorant of what is being discussed.

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  37. "cause, you know, one of these days now, if enough money is thrown at the problem, the headlines will read, “Evolution Finally Seen In Action!”"

    Wow-you missed that newsflash by just a few decades. That's the sad thing about creation 'science.' You keep trotting out the same old stories, but haven't noticed how desperately behind the science you really are.

    Dobzhansky, T. and O. Pavlovsky. 1971. Experimentally created incipient species of Drosophila. Nature. 230:289-292.

    Since then, I'd add evolution of antibiotic resistance, citrate utilizing E. coli, nylonase, results from directed evolution, HIV resistance, H1N1, malarial resistance, herbicide resistance, and stickleback adaptation to fresh water to the list of direct observations of evolution.

    And maybe some direct observations of natural speciation, with genomic sequencing to boot? Here:

    Sympatric ecological speciation meets pyrosequencing: sampling the transcriptome of the apple maggot Rhagoletis pomonella.
    BMC Genomics. 2009 Dec 27;10:633.

    Rapid evolution and selection inferred from the transcriptomes of sympatric crater lake cichlid fishes.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20331780
    Mol Ecol. 2010 Mar;19 Suppl 1:197-211.

    Adaptive radiations: from field to genomic studies.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19528644
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 16;106 Suppl 1:9947-54. Epub 2009

    Evolution in the Drosophila ananassae species subgroup.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19377294
    Fly (Austin). 2009 Apr-Jun;3(2):157-69. Epub 2009

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  38. @ Fil: ID in a nutshell is (amongst other things) about proving the existence of god.

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  39. Silly, willfully ignorant boy: the only connection between Darwinism and "evolutionary algorithms" is he word "evolution." Well, that and the amazing capacity some persons have to lie to themselves.

    (Chuckle) This has been hashed out multiple times already ... and still, you willful self-deceivers like to imagine and assert that the output of a computer program proves Darwinism true.

    Shoot! You folk are even prone to asserting things such as “You broke the program!” as the excuse to continue your risibly false assertions about evolutionary algorithms when an anti-Darwinist (that was me) explains to the general reader how he can empirically demonstrate, on his very own computer, that the output of an evolutionary algorithm (for instance, the ‘Avida’ program) is invariantly determined by the coding of the program acting upon its inputs; that is, that the results of any particular run are fully specified by the assumptions built into the program.

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  40. Ilíon:’cause, you know, one of these days now, if enough money is thrown at the problem, the headlines will read, “Evolution Finally Seen In Action!”

    RobertC:Wow-you missed that newsflash by just a few decades. …

    Wow! You’re like intellectually dishonest on multiple levels, aren’t you? Whodda thunk that a DarwinDefender would take a reference to the headline that we see every couple of years (“Evolution Finally Seen In Action!”), which reference pretends to never have seen the headline, as anything other than a mocking reference to the long-running habit of DarwinDefenders to cross their fingers and hope that finally, this time, they’ve hit the epistemological jackpot.

    RobertC: [pointless ‘citation-bombing’ which relies upon equivocation with respect to the word ‘evolution’ … along with special-pleading and question-begging]

    You boys just never learn, do you?

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  41. Silly fool, my links go right back to where I intend them to go ... for you are dishonest, and a hypocrite, as is seen from the start.


    Your links do not show me being dishonest or hypocritical.


    As I've already said, I am under no obliation to play "Prove it Again!" just because you will never admit that it has been proven.


    Again? You haven't proved it once.

    You called me a liar for chastising Gary. But the third post on this thread is from him and contains no point relevant to this discussion - just personal abuse. Ergo, I am not a liar.

    You also called my a hypocrit for chastising Gary. To show this, you would need to show me Pointlessly insulting others. You have failed to do that. Ergo, you have not shown me to be a hypocrit.

    You can defend or retract these points, or you are as bad as Gary.

    And by the way, how old are you?

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  42. Thorton: "Except the data is not contrary to evolutionary theory, not even a little bit."

    If this were true you wouldn´t be here posting.

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  43. Blas said...

    Thorton: "Except the data is not contrary to evolutionary theory, not even a little bit."

    If this were true you wouldn´t be here posting.


    Yes, I would. Pointing out the deliberate misrepresentations and outright falsehoods about actual science from the people pushing ID pseudo-science is a valuable public service.

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  44. Thorton said:" Pointing out the deliberate misrepresentations and outright falsehoods about actual science "

    If there wasn´t controversial data about evolution misrepresentations and falsehoods wouldn´t be possible.

    "is a valuable public service"

    For whom? Who cares?

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  45. Blas said...

    If there wasn´t controversial data about evolution misrepresentations and falsehoods wouldn´t be possible.


    The misrepresentations and falsehoods are part of the ID political plan to create a false controversy. While there is certainly scientific controversy over some of the specific details of how evolution proceeded, there is no scientific controversy - none - over the basic tenets of the theory.

    For whom? Who cares?

    I care.

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  46. Blas -


    If there wasn´t controversial data about evolution misrepresentations and falsehoods wouldn´t be possible.


    What a naive statement. Of course they would be possible. Why on Earth can't you misrepresent or lie about uncontroversial data?


    For whom? Who cares?


    We all should. In a society where science gives us ever greater power over our world, we need to understand it thoroughly. Yet poll after poll reveals the general public are distressingly ignorant of even basic scientific knowledge.

    Creationism and ID are not wholly responsible of course, but they are a contributing factor. In undermining perfectly respectable scientists and institutions to a degree that borders on libel and encouraging people to value personal opinions and beliefs over empirical evidence and research it actively discourages people from understandnig science.

    We need to understand evolution to create medicines and vaccines for viruses and diseases. Conservationalists would be lost without a working understanding of it. When it comes to farming and agriculture, evolution helps us understand how to maximize yields and prevent losses due to disease and pests. Evolutionary principles can even be used in engineering to produce genetic algorithms. Evolution is not a theory with no practical implications - a great many fields of work depend on understanding it thoroughly.

    We should all care. Very much.

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  47. bla bla bla

    The Darweenies are saliently dishonest and perpetually insulting, yet accuse the others of dishonesty.

    This is especially illuminating when it comes from atheist Darwiners.
    Atheists have no ultimate foundations whatsoever for moral values and are thus constrained to either relativism or nihilism - which preclude any objective values at all!

    So where do atheists get off reproving anyone for anything? They are obliged to borrow moral values from others and claim that no values whatsoever are objective or absolute.

    Then to contradict themselves even more they start showing offense at every little reproof given to them that reveals this blatant hypocrisy and willful blindness.

    A truly ironic situation worthy of SNL!

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  48. Tornton said:

    "Hey Ilion, explain to me why the application of evolutionary theory in evolutionary algorithms works."

    This is my own area of scientific expertise - information sciences.

    Evolutionary algorithms are programmed by intelligent designers. They are designed to follow principles of mutation and selection seen in nature.

    However, they are still designed and encoded to work in the real world.

    They are not mere randomly assembled codes, they are not unguided and they are not unintelligent.

    They use search algorithms widely used in informatics and tweak them to be responsive to improvements according to predetermined values (selection criteria).
    Many linguistic algorithms are also used in genetic programming. So? What will you claim on that?

    Taking genetic algorithms in information sciences as somehow proof of Darwinian evolution is laughable.
    It's literally putting the cart before the horse, akin to saying biomimicry is proof of Darwinian evol.

    Very understandable coming from the uninitiated but still wrong thornton.
    -----------
    BTW, the most general ID explanation for biological systems is that of intentionally designed prescribed information encoded in chemical form and programmed to produce functional entities and mechanisms.

    The evidence for ID is overwhelming at the level of information processing with the cell all by itself.

    And one more time, neither creationists nor IDists deny micro-evolution
    What is denied -because there is zero evidence of it ever occurring- is that micro produces macro in over time.

    On the contrary, the genome is already known to contain both poly-functional and poly-constrained codes and mechanisms.

    It is literally loaded with precise mechanisms which are obviously there to inhibit any species from going too far off its original form

    Then we have genetic entropy which, again all by itself, prohibits micro from turning into macro.
    i.e. mutations are generally not good.
    They are not intelligent, not usually designed and most of the time not helpful to the organism but detrimental to it!

    The number of deleterious and neutral mutations are always and necessarily vastly more numerous than beneficial ones.

    In the words of Hoyle, "But what if individuals with a good gene A carry a bad gene B. having the larger value of |s|. Does the bad gene not carry the good one down to disaster? What of the situation that bad mutations must enormously exceed good ones in number? ... The essential problem for the Darwinian theory in its twentieth century form is how to cope with this continuing flood of adverse mutations, a far cry indeed from the trite problem of only the single mutation in (1.1). Supposing a favourable mutation to occur among the avalanche of unfavourable ones, how is the favourable mutation to advance against the downward pressure of the others?" (Hoyle, F., "Mathematics of Evolution," 1987)

    Do the freaking math for petes sake, wake up and smell the implications of this!

    When finally understand these brute facts you will be faced with a crucial decision - whether to go on pretending Darwinism is true or accept the simple truth that life was designed and has a purpose.

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  49. "We need to understand evolution to create medicines and vaccines for viruses and diseases. Conservationalists would be lost without a working understanding of it. When it comes to farming and agriculture, evolution helps us understand how to maximize yields and prevent losses due to disease and pests. Evolutionary principles can even be used in engineering to produce genetic algorithms. Evolution is not a theory with no practical implications - a great many fields of work depend on understanding it thoroughly."

    But if you do all this things, you are trying to stop evolution by removing natural selection.Is that a good thing? Should I care? and if I don´t what is the problem.

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  50. Gary: "Evolutionary algorithms are programmed by intelligent designers. They are designed to follow principles of mutation and selection seen in nature."

    So you admit the naturally occurring principle of mutation and selection produce evolution. That's a good start.

    "BTW, the most general ID explanation for biological systems is that of intentionally designed prescribed information encoded in chemical form and programmed to produce functional entities and mechanisms.

    That's one hypothesis. Not a theory, a hypothesis. Now show how to test the hypothesis, and how to falsify it.

    "It is literally loaded with precise mechanisms which are obviously there to inhibit any species from going too far off its original form."

    Pure unadulterated bullcrap. Please describe these 'limits' to change in the original form, how you determined them, and the precise mechanism that prohibits them from being crossed.

    "The number of deleterious and neutral mutations are always and necessarily vastly more numerous than beneficial ones."

    And guess what - the good ones get selected for and accumulate while the bad ones get weeded out. Someone should come up with a name for that simple but profound idea.

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  51. Blas: "But if you do all this things, you are trying to stop evolution by removing natural selection.Is that a good thing? Should I care? and if I don´t what is the problem. "

    The goal is to not stop evolution. The goal is to produce a better quality, longer life for humans. It certainly is good for humans, but it is probably a selfish thing to do in the context of the overall planet.

    Whether you care or not is completely up to you.

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  52. "The goal is to not stop evolution. The goal is to produce a better quality, longer life for humans. It certainly is good for humans, but it is probably a selfish thing to do in the context of the overall planet."

    You didn´t answer if this are good things.

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  53. Ritchie: "We need to understand evolution[ism] to create medicines and vaccines for viruses and diseases. Conservationalists would be lost without a working understanding of it. When it comes to farming and agriculture, evolution helps us understand how to maximize yields and prevent losses due to disease and pests. Evolutionary principles can even be used in engineering to produce genetic algorithms. Evolution is not a theory with no practical implications - a great many fields of work depend on understanding it thoroughly."

    To quote a certain "wise" man:
    Thorton: "Pure unadulterated bullcrap."

    The truth is that evolutionism is a form of anti-knowledge, similar to anti-matter.

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  54. Gary -


    Atheists have no ultimate foundations whatsoever for moral values and are thus constrained to either relativism or nihilism - which preclude any objective values at all!


    Absolute twaddle! A vile and totally unfounded fundamentalist lie that you are a fool if you believe.

    Most of the atheists I know have a very rigid sense of right and wrong. They are just as moral and good as religious folk.

    If this really is the only life we have to live, then we'd better make this the best life we can, for ourselves, for each other, for everyone.


    So where do atheists get off reproving anyone for anything?


    Because we are human beings who have sensibilties, feelings and worth, just as you do. It behooves us all to treat our fellow human beings with respect. You seem to think that respect is only to be granted to those who agree with you!


    Then to contradict themselves even more they start showing offense at every little reproof given to them that reveals this blatant hypocrisy and willful blindness.


    You dd not give me a little reproof which revealed any blatant hypocrisy and willful blindness. You gave me nothing but personal comments and abuse.

    You are not intrinsically more worthy of respect than me. You are not better than me. Get over it.

    And if you wish to participate in open and honest discussion with others then I advise you to show respect to everyone - even those who do not share your views. If you do so you may well find you have more stimulating and worthwhile discussions and fewer childish slanging matches.

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  55. Ilion -


    Pure unadulterated bullcrap.


    What a very well thought-out and reasoned reply. Thanks for contributing.

    Unfortunately (for you) everything I said in the quote you cited is, in fact, true.


    The truth is that evolutionism is a form of anti-knowledge, similar to anti-matter.


    Aren't we getting a tad hysterical here? If you think evolution fails to stand as a theory, that's one thnig, but 'anti-knowledge'? What on Earth is anti-knowledge?

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  56. Blas: "You didn´t answer if this are good things."

    Yes, I did. Go read the post again

    Thornton: "It certainly is good for humans, but it is probably a selfish thing to do in the context of the overall planet."

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  57. "Athiests have no foundations whatsoever for moral values..."
    Do you really want to go with that, gary? This implys that virtue is not its own reward and the only reason that someone would do good is the motivation of heaven and hell. That's a dim view of what really makes us tic. Is that how you see it?

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  58. Actually, T.Cook, you response implies one of these:
    1) you constitutionally incapable of understanding what Gary said;
    2) you are lacking some more basic knowledge, the lack of which prevents you from understanding what Gary said;
    3) ultimately, you choose to "misunderstand" what Gary said.

    I'll give you one guess as to which of the three I think to be the more likely explanation.

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  59. Sorry Thorton you are right, I misread the answer.
    So, evolution made life, selected methods that increase variability, developed million of species including man, and now the evolved man closes the evolution for "the good of humans".
    I do not know if teleologically or teonomally but you find and end and a scope for evolution: "the good of humans"
    This is the demonstration of ID. The only reason to have a design is to have a purpose.
    (I´m not an ID supporter)

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  60. Blas said...

    Sorry Thorton you are right, I misread the answer.


    No worries.

    "So, evolution made life, selected methods that increase variability, developed million of species including man, and now the evolved man closes the evolution for "the good of humans".

    Humans did not close evolution. They just use their technology to lessen certain selection pressures on humans, leading to longer average lifespans and greater average reproductive success. Evolution is still happening in the human species, as it is in every other species on the planet.


    "I do not know if teleologically or teonomally but you find and end and a scope for evolution: "the good of humans"

    I have no idea what that sentence means.

    "This is the demonstration of ID. The only reason to have a design is to have a purpose.
    (I´m not an ID supporter)"


    That makes no sense to me either. Can you clarify?

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  61. I’m not too impressed with the tone of posts on this one (from either camp) but I will say that the anti-IDers have once again refused to stick to the point of the post: Staunch evolutionists were surprised at what the actual data revealed. Therefore, those things they expected/predicted were not found.

    I fail to see what is so controversial about pointing this out. Gasp. It could just mean the evolutionists don’t know as much as they think they do. But once again the anti-IDer’s can’t resist interpreting *everything* as simply more proof of directionless evolution. Confirmation biased much?

    The anti-IDers refusal to grant the relatively simple point of the post only demonstrates (again) that they aren’t all that interested in a reasoned discussion. Instead, they routinely expand the scope of every thread such that it becomes unrecognizable within just a few posts. The rest of us cooperate with their silliness by responding somewhat in kind.

    Just as the anti-IDers consistently avoid the main point of a thread, they are also consistent in their refusal to understand what ID is and the realm in which it operates. This refusal leads to all kinds of unnecessary injections (God, etc.).

    Simply put, ID operates in the realm of design detection. Period. End of sentence.

    Let’s review. ID does not concern itself with showing how this or that biological organism could arise through Intelligent Design (so quit asking). ID is merely attempting to operate in the same realm as a forensic scientist searching for cause of death. The forensic scientist applies tried and true science, math, and reason to determine cause of death (natural versus an intelligent agent). The forensic scientist detects a designed cause of death (if present). The forensic scientist ISN’T required to play detective, find the killer and accomplices, map out the anatomy (no pun intended) of the murder, etc. Similarly, a cryptographer isn’t responsible for tracking down those that create hidden messages and determing why they did it. They merely attempt to detect and crack those hidden messages. To continue the analogy, should SETI ever detect a message of extra-terrestrial origin, they won’t be required to tell us *anything* other than where and when the message originated. They won’t be required to determine why they did it, how they did it, etc. Their finding of a message of extra-terrestrial origin will stand alone. While evolutionists routinely attempt to expand the scope of ID by requiring why’s and how’s, no evolutionist would dare place the same requirements on SETI researchers. It will rightly be up to others to explore the implications of the message.

    Similarly, ID is about applying what we know about bio-chemistry, information, statistical probabilities, etc. to the presence of specific and complex functionality throughout biology. If ID is reliably detected, that detection should stand alone and cannot be assailed simply because the why's and how's may remain mysterious.

    Finally, I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I would find this a lot more enjoyable and worthwhile if everyone would 1) stay reasonably focused on the point of a post, 2) demonstrate an honest understanding of ID (whether or not you like or agree with it), and 3) avoid personal attacks.

    An honest, well-reasoned, respectful discussion is worth participating in. What I see in the posts above isn't.

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  62. "Simply put, ID operates in the realm of design detection. Period. End of sentence.

    ID is merely attempting to operate in the same realm as a forensic scientist searching for cause of death."

    So I'll repeat:

    How did you detect design in this system? How did you distinguish design from non-design. Go.

    As for personal attacks, I don't make them. Search Illion in these forums and see what ID supporters bring to the discussion.

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  63. "Staunch evolutionists were surprised at what the actual data revealed."

    False: see

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/compass-that-is-never right.html?showComment=1275332800665#c596280661654231339

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  64. Mike: "Finally, I don’t know about the rest of y’all but I would find this a lot more enjoyable and worthwhile if everyone would 1) stay reasonably focused on the point of a post, 2) demonstrate an honest understanding of ID (whether or not you like or agree with it), and 3) avoid personal attacks."

    OK Mike, I'll bite.

    Please describe a testable ID hypothesis for biological organisms that doesn't take the form of a false dichotomy (i.e evolutionary theory currently doesn't explain all the details, so ID must be true) or probability estimates based upon incomplete information and unsubstantiated assumptions.

    Please describe a way to falsify the above ID hypothesis for biological organisms.

    Thanks in advance.

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  65. Mike: "Simply put, ID operates in the realm of design detection. Period. End of sentence.

    Sorry, but that's not true. Every last instance in the realm of design detection currently employed involves pattern matching the unknown with a previously known sample. That's true for forensics experts trying to match wounds with their causes, blood and hair samples, the effect of poisons on tissue, etc. It's true for archaeologists trying to determine if a stone object is just a rock or a human worked paleolithic tool. It's true for looking at Mt. Rushmore. It's even true for SETI, where the researchers are trying to match modulations and waveforms know to be used by humans.

    ID in biological organisms is trying a brand new approach by claiming design detection without pattern matching but just by studying the inherent characteristics of the biological organism itself. Needless to say, the attempts to date have been a complete failure. We've had bogus probability claims based on the most ridiculous misunderstandings of actual evolutionary mechanisms. We've had loads of personal incredulity ("it's soooo complex, it must be designed!!"). We've had lots of vaguely defined buzzword phrases coined (like 'specified complexity' and 'specified complex information') that are meaningless when applied to real world objects.

    So no, ID of biological organisms is not in the realm of current design detection. Right now it only exists in the imaginations of frustrated creationists looking for the next 'sneak my religion into public schools' ruse.

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  66. Dr. Hunter, you wrote:
    "It was a surprise because under evolution humans and kangaroos must be quite distant relatives."

    1) What is the antecedent of "it" here?
    2) I'm not sure what you mean by "quite distant." More distant than humans and mice, yes, more than frogs and chickens, no. The data are consistent with that.

    "Evolutionists believe a small mouse-like creature split into two lineages—the marsupials and the placentals—about 150 million years ago."

    You appear to be obfuscating. This is not a matter of belief, but of massive amounts of evidence. Using the term "mouse-like" appears to be further obfuscation, as rodents are far more closely related to humans than they are to marsupials.

    "And according to evolutionists that mouse eventually turned into, among other things, a kangaroo in the one lineage and into a human in the other."

    More apparent obfuscation. You're playing into the most basic misrepresentation of evolution by creationists—that it happens to single organisms, not to populations. I also note that "mouse-like" magically changed to a regular mouse. I'm a biologist, and I neither believe nor conclude that the evidence supports the notion that a mouse is the common ancestor of humans and marsupials.

    "With that much evolutionary distance the kangaroo and human genomes should have evolved substantial differences."

    And they did. I challenge you to look at the actual evidence with me in your blog.

    "Sometimes evolution gets it right but often the theory, which evolutionists claim is mandatory for making sense of all of biology, just looks foolish."

    Yes, when you limit your vision to a poorly-written newspaper article instead of real evidence. Shall we look at it together?

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  67. Smokey:

    Do you agree that evolution is a fact as much as is gravity, or the round shape of the earth, or heliocentrism?

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  68. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Smokey:

    Do you agree that evolution is a fact as much as is gravity, or the round shape of the earth, or heliocentrism?


    Please specify whether you mean

    evolution - the ample evidence for common ancestry and descent with modification

    or

    evolution - the theory that explains the evidence described above

    I'm sure you'll agree it would be quite intellectually dishonest to equivocate over the two.

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  69. Dr. Hunter, you asked:

    "Do you agree that evolution is a fact as much as is gravity, or the round shape of the earth, or heliocentrism?"

    I'll take your deflection as meaning that no, you are utterly afraid to look at actual empirical evidence in a public forum.

    My offer is still open if that's not what your attempt to deflect meant.

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  70. CH said:
    Sometimes evolution gets it right but often the theory, which evolutionists claim is mandatory for making sense of all of biology, just looks foolish.

    Foolishness is in the eye of the beholder. To the uninitiated to the religion of Darwinism - or any other religion - it looks foolish indeed.

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  71. Snurre, what exactly do you mean by the "religion of Darwinism"?

    I'm a biologist who understands that there are Darwinian and non-Darwinian evolutionary mechanisms, so I don't see how I, or for that matter, the scientists who discovered non-Darwinian mechanisms, could be religiously following Darwin.

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  72. Smokey:

    ===
    You're playing into the most basic misrepresentation of evolution by creationists—that it happens to single organisms, not to populations. I also note that "mouse-like" magically changed to a regular mouse.
    ===

    Fixed. Now that evolution is more accurately represented, people can see how compelling it is.


    ===
    And they did. I challenge you to look at the actual evidence with me in your blog. ... Shall we look at it together?
    ===

    Great idea.

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  73. Smokey:

    Do you agree that evolution is a fact as much as is gravity, or the round shape of the earth, or heliocentrism?

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  74. Me:
    You're playing into the most basic misrepresentation of evolution by creationists—that it happens to single organisms, not to populations. I also note that "mouse-like" magically changed to a regular mouse.
    ===
    Dr. Hunter: Fixed….

    No, not entirely. You still have a species "turning into" single organisms. Species don't really "turn into" each other. They generally split.

    Now that evolution is more accurately represented, people can see how compelling it is.
    ===

    What we're really seeing is how little you understand about biology.

    ===
    Me: And they did. I challenge you to look at the actual evidence with me in your blog. ... Shall we look at it together?
    ===
    Great idea.

    OK, go to PubMed and pick out any kangaroo (genus Macropus) sequence.

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  75. Just as Smokey predicted...

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