Monday, August 23, 2010

MAVs and Fruit Flies: Unguided Evolution Smarter Than Top Scientists

Autonomous air vehicles are finding increasing use and the Air Force is interested in micro versions:

Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) typically UAVs with wingspan on the order of 15cm or less are fast becoming commonplace for meeting a wide range of current and future military missions.

But there are tremendous technical challenges:

A typical sensor suite for a MAV consists of GPS, MEMs-based linear accelerometers, angular rate sensors, magnetometers, and barometric-altimeters. While this is adequate for waypoint navigation, the potential of MAVs to replicate the flight agility of natural fliers (e.g., birds, bats, insects) remains elusive, especially in complex terrain such as city streets or forests.

For hints at how to solve such problems designers are looking at nature’s solutions:

The desire to engineer the agility of natural fliers has led researchers to the study of flying organisms to learn how animals combine sensory input with control output to achieve flight maneuverability. Biologists are beginning to understand how visual information is integrated with mechanosensory information in biological systems for flight stabilization, landing, and prey/mate pursuit. Studies are also underway to discover how proprioceptive sensory feedback is used for fine-scale control the movement of wings, legs, etc. during aggressive maneuvers (e.g., obstacle or collision avoidance). These sensory modalities are combined with olfactory or auditory information for predator avoidance and prey/mate pursuit.

Fortunately evolution has created highly advanced flight systems:

The fact that animals such as fruit flies exhibit such remarkable flight agility with many sensory inputs and modest onboard processing suggests a particular kind of coupling between sensing, control and dynamics altogether qualitatively different from that of engineered systems. Advancements in flow control have made it possible to control the separation of flow around wings, either to inhibit separation for higher cruise lift-to-drag ratios or to promote it for large transients in aerodynamics loading for aggressive maneuvers. Natural flyers have anatomic features which probably act as flow control devices (e.g., covert flaps) and may act as aerodynamic sensors.

But understanding evolution’s marvels remains a research challenge:

Rigorous system modeling that can accurately capture the vehicle dynamics, sufficiently accounting for uncertainties in aerodynamic and structural models, remains primitive even for engineered vehicles, let alone for natural flyers. Uncertainty arises both in the veracity of particular models in describing a given flow or dynamics phenomenon, and in unknowns in the inputs, such as wind gusts and their time-dependent effect on the vehicle. While on-going research efforts are addressing some of the critical limitations in this area, significant uncertainties in the dynamics models of MAVs are unlikely to be completely eliminated.

How do random mutations produce such brilliant designs? Answering such questions is, of course, what science is all about. As Darwin explained, evolution opens up wide areas of scientific research. But now we know it also gives top scientists hints to their toughest problems.

195 comments:

  1. Cornelius hunter said...

    How do random mutations produce such brilliant designs? Answering such questions is, of course, what science is all about.


    Random mutations alone didn't do it of course. It was the iterative feedback process of random genetic variations filtered by selection. A process that has been running and optimizing animal flight for at least the last 350 million years.

    You've only been corrected on your misunderstanding of how evolution actually works a few hundred times, but that won't stop you from playing your little rhetorical games.

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  2. Cornelius,

    ** off topic **

    I have discovered a biological gem for you to blog on if you wish. You have discussed the complexities of biological systems in the past: sight, sonar, etc. These complex systems rightly call into question the ability of evolution through random processes to create life. I came across the subject of quantum entanglement in biology. In the article below from The Quantum Times quantum physicists are working with biologists to discover if biological systems such as photosynthesis and bird migration rely on quantum effects. Not just any run of the mill quantum effect, but quantum entanglement. This is a unique process by which the quantum effects of two particles are dependent on one another. If this is in fact the case then evolutionists would have to suppose that random mutation just happened to create biological systems that relied on complex quantum mechanical effects, incredible.


    http://www.aps.org/units/gqi/newsletters/upload/summer09.pdf
    --
    Peter Wadeck
    .

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  3. Quantum entanglement does not always have to be carefully engineered. Two electrons forming a familiar chemical bond are in a quantum entangled state for simple energy reasons. See, e.g., David Mermin's article about the history of entanglement.

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  4. Thorton:

    Random mutations alone didn't do it of course. It was the iterative feedback process of random genetic variations filtered by selection. A process that has been running and optimizing animal flight for at least the last 350 million years.

    I think you’ve put your finger on a central problem that Creationists have: it’s the time scale. There simply isn’t enough time in their bible-based conception of the history of the Universe for a plausible history of life to have occurred. In their minds, it follows that incremental evolutionary change is a ridiculous idea.

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  5. David,

    I don't think it has much to do with the time; there are plenty of old-earth creationists, and there are even a few IDers who accept common ancestry.
    I think it's a combination of two things:

    1. If natural processes are sufficient to explain origins, it removes one very powerful 'proof' of God. To a creationist, everything that exists is proof of God: bananas, jars of peanut butter, you name it, because where did it all come from, if not from the Almighty?

    2. They truly don't understand the 'natural selection' part of RM+NS. They only hear the 'random' part, not comprehending the role that natural selection plays. They rightly conclude that random mutation can't explain the features of life, but their understanding stops there. Whether this is a mere misunderstanding, or subconscious defense against #1 varies from individual to individual I'm sure. In many individuals, this is complicated by scientific illiteracy, but that is something that afflicts the general American public, not just creationists.

    It is usually not a matter of intelligence; on the contrary, you have to have very sharp mental faculties to keep explaining away all the overwhelming evidence.

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  6. Derick Childress said...

    I think it's a combination of two things:

    1. If natural processes are sufficient to explain origins, it removes one very powerful 'proof' of God. To a creationist, everything that exists is proof of God: bananas, jars of peanut butter, you name it, because where did it all come from, if not from the Almighty?

    2. They truly don't understand the 'natural selection' part of RM+NS. They only hear the 'random' part, not comprehending the role that natural selection plays. They rightly conclude that random mutation can't explain the features of life, but their understanding stops there. Whether this is a mere misunderstanding, or subconscious defense against #1 varies from individual to individual I'm sure. In many individuals, this is complicated by scientific illiteracy, but that is something that afflicts the general American public, not just creationists.


    In my observations the creationists in #2 fall into two camps. There's the ones who yell "random mutations can't create, they just degrade!!" and those who yell "natural selection can't create, it doesn't increase information!!" But they can never get enough neurons firing together to grasp it's the process using both things in concert that gets stuff done.

    It's part of the larger problem of Creationists not understanding scientific consilience, and not being able to consider more than one piece of evidence at a time.

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  7. Thornton:
    Random mutations alone didn't do it of course. It was the iterative feedback process of random genetic variations filtered by selection.

    And I got criticized in previous posts for using engineering analogies. Go figure.

    More to the point: I don’t see how natural selection is a feedback process. A system with feedback takes a signal from the output and feeds it back to control the input to the system. The output is a function of both the primary input and the feedback signal.

    In a biological system this implies that each succeeding genetic change is no longer random with respect to the environment or the needs of the organism; the next genetic change is dependent on the previous genetic change in that there is a direct correlation between the current genetic change and the next one.

    I will grant that there might be a very weak form of feedback, but I don't know that I would want to call it feedback. The set of genetic changes that would enhance the organism's survival after the current genetic change would be different from the set of genetic changes that included the one that just occurred. But there would be no direct correlation if they are truly random.

    To clarify your engineering analogy, are you suggesting there is strong form of feedback or a weak form of feedback?

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  8. Doublee said...

    Thornton: "Random mutations alone didn't do it of course. It was the iterative feedback process of random genetic variations filtered by selection."

    And I got criticized in previous posts for using engineering analogies. Go figure.


    It's not an analogy. The actual process of evolution involves feedback.

    More to the point: I don’t see how natural selection is a feedback process. A system with feedback takes a signal from the output and feeds it back to control the input to the system. The output is a function of both the primary input and the feedback signal.

    That's exactly what evolution does. The output is each generation. The feedback is the genetic makeup of the population that better survives its local environment and gets to reproduce. That forms the basis of each subsequent generation.

    In a biological system this implies that each succeeding genetic change is no longer random with respect to the environment or the needs of the organism; the next genetic change is dependent on the previous genetic change in that there is a direct correlation between the current genetic change and the next one.

    Wrong. In each generation the changes are random with respect to the environment, and the effect they have on reproductive fitness. Because of differential reproductive success (i.e. natural selection), the more beneficial ones tend to to be passed along and form the basis for the next generation. Rinse, wash, repeat. The net result is a dynamic process where the population is constantly steered to a point of optimum fitness in a changing environment.

    I will grant that there might be a very weak form of feedback, but I don't know that I would want to call it feedback. The set of genetic changes that would enhance the organism's survival after the current genetic change would be different from the set of genetic changes that included the one that just occurred. But there would be no direct correlation if they are truly random.

    Still not getting it I see. I'll ask again - have you ever played draw poker? Suppose you had a unlimited number of draws per hand. The cards you get on any one draw are random, but selection insures the good cards accumulate. The end resulting hand is optimized and way better than just a random draw.

    To clarify your engineering analogy, are you suggesting there is strong form of feedback or a weak form of feedback?

    It's not an analogy, and you'll have to define what you mean by strong or weak.

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  9. David:

    There may very well be a problem with time scales even when using geological time. Given known mutation rates and the time it takes for mutations to work their way through a population, 100 of millions of years might not be enough.

    And it not just timescales that are a problem. If I made random changes to my car, saved the one that produced some kind of benefit, and junked the car and started over when a change didn't work, it would take a very long time for my car to become a truck.

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  10. natschuster said...

    David:

    There may very well be a problem with time scales even when using geological time. Given known mutation rates and the time it takes for mutations to work their way through a population, 100 of millions of years might not be enough.


    Show us the math, and the justification for any assumptions. Remember, the calculation of probabilities when there is feedback involved is a lot different that just the simplistic multiplying of individual probabilities.

    And it not just timescales that are a problem. If I made random changes to my car, saved the one that produced some kind of benefit, and junked the car and started over when a change didn't work, it would take a very long time for my car to become a truck.

    There's your fundamental misunderstandings again.

    First off, populations evolve, not individuals.

    Second, evolution doesn't "junk the product and start over". In each generation the population gets to keep the small benefits of the generations preceding it. The small benefits accumulate over time to produce a very functional if often jerry-rigged end product. That's why we see such goofy non-optimum "designs" in nature. Evolution works by modifying whatever materials are handy to produce a solution that is just good enough.

    If you kept every change to a fleet of cars that made them more truck like and allowed the changes to accumulate, you'd have a population of trucks in short order.

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  11. Nat: "If I made random changes to my car, saved the one that produced some kind of benefit, and junked the car and started over when a change didn't work, it would take a very long time for my car to become a truck."

    Nat, not that this is the best analogy in the first place, but let's assume a process like the one you describe. To be really applicable to DNA, you wouldn't make a change the car itself, but the instructions to build the car.
    So, imagine that in building a car, the instruction to put the trunk lid on gets deleted. Bam: Proto-Truck. Is it a truck yet? No, but it's closer to being truck-like than its parent; it has an open cargo area in its posterior section. For someone who needs a vehicle for doing truck like things, like throwing tools in the back, it's more convenient than having to open the lid every time. Imagine that further down the line another misprint in the instructions causes the trunk to be 8 feet long instead of 4. This could cause some design problems. The trunk may now intrude into the backseat, lessening room for passengers, and perhaps there is no way to put the rear windshield in. But if you're 'selecting' for truck-like features, what you have now is like an open-back El Camino, rough overall shape of a car, but a very truck like rear end and capability. So you see, it really only took two changes to get you pretty far towards a truck like automobile.

    Like I said, not a perfect analogy, but I think it still works better than you imagined.

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  12. Okay, start with a fleet of cars. When a random change does not improve the car, you junk it. Remember, some changes have to involve interconnecting parts. If you change the bolts, you also have to change the nuts. If your rim is held by four bolts, and you change the number of bolts to five, you have to change the number of holes in the rim. So some changes require multiple changes all at the same time. But this is all random.

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  13. Nat: "Okay, start with a fleet of cars. When a random change does not improve the car, you junk it. Remember, some changes have to involve interconnecting parts. If you change the bolts, you also have to change the nuts. If your rim is held by four bolts, and you change the number of bolts to five, you have to change the number of holes in the rim. So some changes require multiple changes all at the same time. But this is all random."

    And we have now reached the point at which the analogy breaks down. DNA doesn't work like that at all. When a person has a very tall parent and a very short parent, they may grow up to also be very tall, or very short, or somewhere in between. The genes that are responsible for determining height aren't unrelated. A tall person has a tall person's ribs, a tall person's spine, a tall persons muscles, a tall person's lungs, etc. Imagine if I my dad were 6'5" and my mom were 4'8" and I got the genes for the heigh of my skeleton from my dad and the genes for the length of my muscles and for my amount of skin from my mom. Uh-Oh! So, DNA doesn't work like that, and therefore, neither does selection. When nature selects for longer fingers or thicker legs, or a more flexible spine, it doesn't necessarily have to select for every single component individually, because those components are already correlated going all the way back to the development of the embryo.

    But your analogy also fails when you say "When a random change does not improve the car, you junk it." Many, if not most mutations are neutral, because DNA can be functionally redundant. To be accurate, you would have to say "only when a random change hurts the car, junk it." But even then, 'hurt' is relative. What one person finds appealing in a car, another might find atrocious. In that same way, some environments would cause selection for a certain trait, while others would cause selection against it.

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  14. Dr Hunter,

    For the sake of argument, let's assume an intelligent agent actually did design these flying organisms.

    What are these researchers trying to accomplish? Build MAVs.

    What is the challenge? To "replicate the flight agility of natural fliers (e.g., birds, bats, insects)"

    From this perspective, how would the "knowledge" that an abstract agent intentionally designed these organisms to fly actually provide a solution?

    Does it provide an underlying principle that the designer used to design them? No, it does not. Does it provide a means by which the designer implemented the resulting design? No, it does not.

    The only thing it "provides" is a claim that the ability of flight these organisms exhibit was an intentional goal of a designer. However, given that we are intelligent agents with a specific goal, what other option do we have but to intelligently design things to fly? Is some other option even possible?

    Furthermore, it comes at a cost of invalidating the means and method provided by evolution.

    In the absence of a method or means used by an abstract designer, we're no closer to a solution to the problem you identified, such as… . "Rigorous system modeling that can accurately capture the vehicle dynamics, sufficiently accounting for uncertainties in aerodynamic and structural models, remains primitive even for engineered vehicles, let alone for natural flyers."

    Perhaps you'd like to enlighten us with the principles utilized to create the design and the method by which the resulting design was implemented?

    However, it's unlikely this will occur for reasons that are obvious.

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  15. Doublee: More to the point: I don’t see how natural selection is a feedback process. A system with feedback takes a signal from the output and feeds it back to control the input to the system. The output is a function of both the primary input and the feedback signal.

    Doublee, if you haven't already, please read this post concerning the feedback loop of natural selection. It also responds to another question you had as to why certain presentations of the fossil record of evolution might look "Lamarckian."

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  16. Cornelius Hunter:But now we know it also gives top scientists hints to their toughest problems.

    The primary advantage of the bird of course, is that it has a brain. Natural selection working with mutations has honed the brain into a flexible and useful tool. We can't replicate a brain - does that mean the brain had to have supernatural help? Of course not. As someone noted and many have restated, if the brain were simple enough for us to fully understand it, we would be too simple to fully understand it. Clever insight wedded to human impatience and imperfection is typically no match for brute force working to optimize a structure.

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  17. natschuster:There may very well be a problem with time scales even when using geological time. Given known mutation rates and the time it takes for mutations to work their way through a population, 100 of millions of years might not be enough.

    Observed rates of microevolution are more than rapid enough to explain macroevolution. Another factor oft forgotten is the effect of environmental crises on evolution. Population sizes are not stable forever. Genetic diversity builds up during times of stability through drift, and then during times of crisis or change in mode of life, selection pressure increases and population size falls so that alleles promoting survival can rapidly sweep to fixation.

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  18. Peter Wadeck,

    Good point. As per my knowledge, they have already identified entanglement as a natural feature of quantum effects which drives photosynthesis.
    I absolutely agree with you, the complexity of quantum entanglement can be seen in the emerging technologies of quantum computing and quantum cryptography, and has been used to realize quantum teleportation experimentally.


    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100510151356.htm

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  19. The flight control functions in fruit flies is another example of a highly integrated and precision system.

    There is a fundamental flaw in evolutionary thinking that these tightly integrated systems can be made in a stepwise manner.

    In a stroke of genius salesmanship, Darwin turned the tables and changed the whole atmosphere of his argument by saying that the eye could have evolved unless you can show that it couldn't. Normally a theory needs to show how, but evolutionary theory is allowed extra privileges.

    Evolutionists are still hiding behind this foggy ignorance... show us how it couldn't have happened, they say. No, stop all the empty arguments and show us the exact plausible pathway of evolution for the eye (all 32 parts).

    Mike Behe attempted to bring this problem out with the concept of irreducible complexity. Evolutionists responded with weak examples of how component parts can have independent function (which misses the point). Behe had a good point but evolutionists found a bit of red meat and went in for the kill. But evolutionists still have lots of problems and very fundamental problems with the whole idea of building advanced and integrated systems in a stepwise manner. Showing a type 2 secretion component is like saying we can walk to Japan because we discovered Hawaii and if we discovered Hawaii then we know that more islands will be found to make the trip walkable.

    How do you make a functioning computer in a stepwise manner? The length, width, depth, density, composition, strength, structural support, etc is interpendent on other parts.

    Evolutionists respond by saying that living systems are not like electronic computers, so case closed. But, slow down. Though the materials are different, the same concepts of integrated components forming a functioning system still applies.

    If I were to say that a Dell laptop computer is irreducibly complex, one could say no it isn't, because the button or switch or whatever can have other uses. True, but this doesn't mean that a computer can be built in a stepwise manner while you have some kind of a functioning system throughout the building process. There isn't anyone on earth that would say you could build a Dell laptop computer in such a manner and it could not be demonstrated.

    Evolutionists have been able to hide behind ignorance of what living systems actual look like because the building blocks of life are very small. That time is past. We know what the 32 integrated components of the eye are and how it is integrated with the brain. Dawkins' box eye model with a handful of parts to illustrate how the eye could have evolved is too simple and just does not cut it. It's akin to Fred Flintstone using a few rocks and a dinosaur to simulate a computer. Would you buy a computer from Fred Flintstone. Would you allow Richard Dawkins to perform eye surgery on you?

    Natural selection and mutation are not working under a project manager according to evolutionists, but they sure make it sound like it.

    In living systems, the size, shape, length, depth, width, support structures, and composition of each component are interdependent on each other as all complex integrated systems are.

    I see evolutionary arguments the same way as I see Fred Flintstones car. It only works in the imagination of someone who isn't questioning the details.

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  20. Neal "Liar for Jesus" tedford said...

    I see evolutionary arguments the same way as I see Fred Flintstones car. It only works in the imagination of someone who isn't questioning the details.


    LOL! This coming from a guy who thinks "The Flintstones" was a documentary.

    Hey Tedford, tell us what you know about mitochondrial Eve again, OK?

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  21. DC:

    But at the molecular level, the biomolecules have to fit together to function, just like the parts of a car. The sequences of the binding and active sites are controlled by the sequence in the genes.

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  22. According to this model:

    http://www.genetics.org/cgi/content/full/180/3/1501

    it would take ~100,000,000 years for an adaptation that requires two mutations to spread through the population of a species that reproduces at the rate humans do.

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  23. Can someone tell me what evolutionists actually contribute to society?

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  24. From Thorton: Random mutations alone didn't do it of course. It was the iterative feedback process of random genetic variations filtered by selection. A process that has been running and optimizing animal flight for at least the last 350 million years.

    350? Optimizing? ... What is the timeline between the first known non-flying insect and the first flying insect? And if the first known flying insect appears to have been a capable flyer, what minimal systems would have had to have been "optimized" to allow for that?

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  25. oled said:
    Quantum entanglement does not always have to be carefully engineered. Two electrons forming a familiar chemical bond are in a quantum entangled state for simple energy reasons.
    -------------------------------------

    The point is that manipulation of quantum entanglement in photosynthesis is such an astounding engineering feat, to the extent that the future of clean green solar power may well hinge on scientists being able to unravel its mysteries.

    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2010/05/10/untangling-quantum-entanglement/

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  26. natschuster said...

    According to this model:

    http://www.genetics.org/cgi/content/full/180/3/1501

    it would take ~100,000,000 years for an adaptation that requires two mutations to spread through the population of a species that reproduces at the rate humans do.


    Sigh...no nat, the paper doesn't say that at all. The authors are talking about the probability of occurrence of two pre-specific coordinated mutations, one that inactivates a transcription binding site and a second to create a new site, with neither being fixed in the population. There's nothing in there at all about the time it takes two mutations to spread through the population.

    In fact, one of the main points of the paper is to point out the errors in Behe's "Edge of Evolution" calculations, which because of his poor reasoning and faulty assumptions have been universally rejected by the scientific community.

    Try actually reading the paper instead of just scanning the abstract for buzzwords.

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  27. Llewellyn said...

    Can someone tell me what evolutionists actually contribute to society?


    You mean besides the millions of discoveries and scientific advancements in biology, medicine, agriculture, genetics, etc? That seems like plenty to me.

    We're also pretty good at pointing out the abject stupidity of those who make blustering anti-science claims on the web to try and prop up their weak religious beliefs.

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  28. Thorton,

    And there are lots of people in the health care industry who smoke, so does that mean smoking is good? They probably would be more effective if they didn't smoke, just like evolutionists would be more effective without the baggage of a failed 19th century theory.

    Besides, most practical work in biology is done within the context of natural and artifical selection, mutation, and variation. If all those millions of contributors to the practical sciences would have the theory of common descent erased from their minds, nothing of value would be lost. Having some vague idea that we are descended from a prokayrote cell doesn't add value to science, does it?

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  29. Thorton:

    Behe did point out that the calculations in his book where based on empirical evidence, and the article is a theoretical model.

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  30. Thorton,

    Molecular biology has given us strong empirical evidence that all humans are descended from a single geographical location. Darwin and friends made a huge mistake when they viewed man as different "races" at various evolutionary stages of development and evolving from multiple regions. The whole idea of "races" is based on Darwin and friends, so it is no wonder that it is confusing for census workers and many people filling out the "race" portion of the form. Another great contribution by Darwinism!

    So in this regard the Bible was more accurate in describing all mankind as originating from one couple than was Darwin in his multiregional evolutionary model.

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  31. Tedford:

    The whole idea of "races" is based on Darwin and friends...

    Are you confident of that claim? What do you think of the following (which contradicts your claim)?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_definitions_of_race

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  32. Neal Tedford said...

    Thorton,

    And there are lots of people in the health care industry who smoke, so does that mean smoking is good? They probably would be more effective if they didn't smoke, just like evolutionists would be more effective without the baggage of a failed 19th century theory.

    -------------------------------------

    T: "We're also pretty good at pointing out the abject stupidity of those who make blustering anti-science claims on the web to try and prop up their weak religious beliefs."


    Q.E.D.

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  33. laugh out loud said...

    Thorton:

    Behe did point out that the calculations in his book where based on empirical evidence, and the article is a theoretical model.


    Behe cherry-picked some values from a single empirical study while ignoring the rest, then plugged them into a totally inappropriate model he created based on a ludicrous misunderstanding of how actual evolution operates.

    That's why his 'Edge of Evolution' is garbage, and why he's considered an egotistical buffoon by virtually every science professional in the evolutionary biology community.

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  34. David said...

    Tedford: "The whole idea of "races" is based on Darwin and friends..."

    Are you confident of that claim? What do you think of the following (which contradicts your claim)?

    Historical definitions of race


    Tedford doesn't care about honesty or accuracy. He's just here to knee-jerk defend his faith against those evil scientists and their Satanic empirical data. That's why he's such a Liar For Jesus all the time.

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  35. Thorton, from your wiki link...

    "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    A series of articles on
    Race
    ...Racism topics
    Category: Race

    Race and genetics are based on classifications of human beings. The term was first founded by the English and Austrian scientist Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel, since then "


    Other quotes from Darwin:

    "The variability or diversity of the mental faculties in men of the same race, not to mention the greater differences between the men of distinct races, is so notorious that not a word need here be said.

    Nor is the difference slight in moral disposition between a barbarian, such as the man described by the old navigator Byron, who dashed his child on the rocks for dropping a basket of sea urchins, and a Howard or Clarkson; and in intellect, between a savage who uses hardly any abstract terms, and a Newton or Shakspeare. Differences of this kind between the highest men of the highest races and the lowest savages, are connected by the finest graduations.

    Many races, some of which differ so much from each other, that they have often been ranked by naturalists as distinct species.

    And, of course, this great Darwinian prediction...


    "At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world... The break between men and his nearest allies will then be wider. "


    Then there is his observations, which leaves one questioning why people would take him seriously:


    "[Man] has diverged into distinct races, or as they may be more fitly called, sub-species. Some of these, such as the Negro and the European, are so distinct that, if specimens had been brought to a naturalist without any further information, they would undoubtedly have been considered as good and true species. "

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  36. Neal Tedford:
    Darwin and friends made a huge mistake when they viewed man as different "races" at various evolutionary stages of development and evolving from multiple regions.

    Neal, I'd like to introduce you to Neal Tedford, who says:
    [Darwin wrote:] [Man] has diverged into distinct races.

    Can the two of you make up your minds and get back to us when you've settled the matter?

    Thank you.

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  37. John, just another example of Darwinism being muddled.

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  38. Alright, looks like comments are disappearing again.

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  39. Fourth time trying to post this

    Neal Tedford said...

    Thorton, from your wiki link...

    "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    A series of articles on
    Race
    ...Racism topics
    Category: Race

    Race and genetics are based on classifications of human beings. The term was first founded by the English and Austrian scientist Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel"


    LOL! That description did not come from the wiki article on racism. It came from one on race and genetics here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_genetics

    ...which deals with genetic variations in humans.

    You can't stop yourself from lying to save your life. How do you think God views your constant lying in His name?

    And what's your point? That Darwin used the term 'race' to mean sub-species, a completely normal usage of scientific terminology in his time? Is that suppose to somehow discredit the 150+ years of accumulated positive evidence for ToE?

    I can't wait for you to trot out the Creto PRATT about Darwin wanting to torture puppies. That will sure put those Satanic evos in their place!

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  40. Huh. I removed the "a href" tags and it worked.

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  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  42. Neal,

    Be sure to read this article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_definitions_of_race

    From that article you will learn that in 1735 (i.e., 74 years before Charles Darwin was born) Carl Linneaus classified humans into varieties Homo sapiens europeaus, H. sapiens asiaticus, H. sapiens americanus, and H. sapiens afer.

    Blumenbach, who died when Darwin was 6 years old, divided humans into five races: Caucasian, Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian, and American.

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  43. Oleg said:

    "Be sure to read this article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_definitions_of_race

    From that article you will learn that in 1735 (i.e., 74 years before Charles Darwin was born) Carl Linneaus classified humans into varieties Homo sapiens europeaus, H. sapiens asiaticus, H. sapiens americanus, and H. sapiens afer.

    Blumenbach, who died when Darwin was 6 years old, divided humans into five races: Caucasian, Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian, and American."
    ======================

    That's unfortunately very sad and certainly your wiki (champion of truth and right = *cough-cough*) article is indeed reflective of the chaos and disunity we see and experience among mankind today. I notice that as usual caucasian group is listed number one in line with most of the evolutionary dung heap charts that our world's higher learning has indoctrinated humankind into believing.

    ----------------------

    Bible - Acts 10:34,35

    34 Then Peter said, “Now I understand that God doesn’t play favorites. 35 Rather, whoever respects God and does what is right is acceptable to him in any nation."
    ======================

    Sadly most of Christendom for centuries has been a bad example in following this Biblical attitude towards their fellow man. Can you imagine what a different world it would be had they actually practiced the above observation Peter had of the Creator ???

    You'd also think those promoting their superior secular intellect on the opposing team would have latched onto the above concept and hijacked it as their own, but alas, they seem to have no better schemes for true peace and security than those they claimed to have replaced.

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  44. Espagnet,

    If I understand the evolutionist's point of view random mutations of DNA created the proteins that just happened to take advantage of quantum entanglement. How fortunate is that? These complex proteins were created blindly without any foresight with the capability to use quantum entanglement and just sat around until it happened. Fortunately this quantum mechanical effect of light just happened to produce super efficient conversion of light energy into chemical energy. I believe the efficiency rate is 100%. This lead to a healthier plant which was more likely to survive natural selection. This is the story we are to believe without any laboratory proof that such an unlikely scenario actually happened. This is truly unbelievable.

    To compound the difficulty of the evolutionist scenario the fossil record shows that the very first life forms, cynobacteria were capable of photosynthesis. So the fossil record shows the photosynthesis began immediately with life and therefore had no time to evolve. It came instantly assemble. This goes beyond unbelievable. It is impossible. It is much more reasonable to think it is the master stroke of a divine creator.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria#Relationship_to_Earth_history

    As for quantum entanglement resulting for simple energy reasons. This is truly incredible. If Einstein and Neils Bohr had difficulty understanding quantum entanglement, then it is laughable to describe quantum entanglement as having simple energy reasons.

    .

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  45. Peter,
    I think you've totally misunderstood my point.

    I'm merely correcting Peter Wadeck because scientists has already discovered that quantum entanglement is behind photosynthesis. He stated that that scientists are in the process of discovering whether biological systems rely on quantum effects.

    I have never stated that quantum entanglement is for simple energy reasons.
    In fact I told oleg, the point should be the fact that the manipulation of quantum entanglement in photosynthesis is an astounding engineering feat.
    Whether or not quantum entanglement is for simple energy reasons, I have no comment, maybe it's simple world after all and we just don't understand it, but it has nothing to do with the topic of complex engineering.

    I'm all for using quantum mechanics to understand evolution.

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  46. Peter,

    Two electrons with net zero spin are in a quantum entangled state. As long as there is an energy preference for such a state and the temperature is not too high, electrons settle into this entangled state purely for the reason of minimizing the energy.

    Sound complicated? Not really. Chemical bonding is an example where external electrons of two atoms prefer to be in a state with spin zero. Such a state has lower energy than a state in which the net spin is one. So electrons end up in an entangled state in diatomic molecules. No delicate engineering is required.

    Go read the WIkipedia page on EPR paradox. It deals with a spin-zero state of two electrons in some detail.

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  47. oleg,

    "Two electrons with net zero spin"
    "Sound complicated? Not really."

    It is complicated if you are trying to understand it. The mathematical equations in your wiki reference prove that point. As I said earlier, Einstein and Bohr do not debate simple processes.

    This of course does not address the most important fact that photosynthesis existed in the first living creatures. Therefore this functionality did not evolve. This process was necessary to create our atmosphere from an anoxide state in preparation for our existence - more foresight, or bizarre happenstance to the evolutionist.

    .

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  48. Darwin said,

    "In a series of forms graduating insensibly from some ape-like creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on any definite point when the term "man" ought to be used. But this is a matter of very little importance. So again, it is almost a matter of indifference whether the so-called races of man are thus designated, or are ranked as species or sub-species; but the latter term appears the more appropriate." (Descent, Chapter Seven: On the Races of Man: Sub-species)

    So the use of the word, "man" by Darwin is taken as a common ancestor to homo sapiens, and then from that common ancestor the various races evolved in different places on earth, with Africans being closer to a gorilla and Englishmen being conveniently at the top of the evolutionary tree. Some of the Wiki links are doing a bit of white washing on Darwin, but by his own words in the Descent of Man, we can better understand where he was coming from. Darwin appears to have believed according to this Descent of Man writings that the African had not evolved as much as Englishmen from this common ancestor.

    The multiregional evolutionary concept fit well with Darwins observations but molecular biology has provided empirical evidence for a single geographic origin of all of man.

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  49. Neal Tedford said...

    The multiregional evolutionary concept fit well with Darwins observations but molecular biology has provided empirical evidence for a single geographic origin of all of man.


    Psst..hey dummy...

    The evidence for the "Out of Africa" single geographic origin hypothesis doesn't show or mean "came from a single breeding pair."

    You didn't learn a thing from your 'mitochondrial Eve' embarrassing debacle, did you?

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  50. Peter,

    Whether quantum entanglement is a complicated phenomenon is in the eye of the beholder. I am not, however, talking about one's degree of understanding the subject. I am saying that entangled states can and do arise quite naturally, without any need for careful engineering.

    The simplest example is the chemical valence bond, in which two electrons find themselves in a spin-zero state. That state is entangled. You don't need to carefully engineer it, though.

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  51. Oleg,

    "The simplest example is the chemical valence bond, in which two electrons find themselves in a spin-zero state. That state is entangled. You don't need to carefully engineer it, though."

    That may be true, but that is not what is going on with photosynthesis which is requiring the best minds in biology and quantum mechanics to decipher the intricate photo-chemical reactions.

    .

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  52. Peter,

    You're making the same mistake again. Understanding a phenomenon may require the sharpest human mind. That in itself is not a reason why that phenomenon cannot arise naturally.

    A good example would be a star. Understanding how a star produces its light through thermonuclear fusion required the best minds in physics. That does not mean that stars are made by intelligent beings. They form naturally from a cloud of hydrogen and helium.

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  53. Scientific American says "A better understanding of this intersection of microbiology and quantum information, researchers say, could lead to “bioquantum” solar cells that are more efficient than today’s photovoltaics"

    If it's so simple a process to utilize quantum entanglement in a productive way, why haven't intelligent designers been able to get this working in solar cells yet? Lots of things are "natural", but actually being able to harness the function is the trick, whether in manmade devices or living cells.

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  54. Thorton,

    Molecular biology does not go so far as to say it wasn't one couple either. Evolutionists just speculate the rest, like Darwin wrongly did.

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  55. Neal,

    We've been using entangled states for quite a while. The covalent bond has electrons in an entangled state. David Mermin (a very fine physicist and physics writer from Cornell) had this to say:

    Although Gilder’s title makes it clear that this is a history of entanglement, and not of the broader field of quantum physics, readers who don’t know much about the subject are likely to get the impression (reinforced by her subtitle) that entanglement is the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow first dimly perceived by Planck (1900), Einstein (1905) and Bohr (1913)—a pot of gold that Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (1935), David Bohm (1951), John Bell (1964) and Alain Aspect (1981) finally revealed for all to see.

    But entangled states (not so named) played a central role in the theory of the chemical bond in 1927, less than two years after the appearance of quantum mechanics. And although Gilder portrays Bohr as oblivious to the charms of entanglement, I read Bohr’s prompt rejoinder to the EPR paper as saying in part (although not in that language) that a measured system is entangled with the measurement apparatus in just the EPR manner. So in Bohr’s view, there is really nothing very new here.


    Quantum entanglement has been part and parcel of quantum mechanics practically since its inception. Some things that we take for granted (the chemical bond is but one example) involve quantum entangled states. Entanglement does not necessarily mean a carefully orchestrated system. In fact, it's the opposite. Quantum objects are itching to get entangled with one another. A carefully prepared electron gets entangled with its environment resulting in what physicists call decoherence. An electron in a solid entangles with nuclear spins in a fraction of a microsecond. It's keeping it from entangling with nuclear spins and entangled with only one other electron that is the difficult engineering problem.

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  56. Neal Tedford said...

    Thorton,

    Molecular biology does not go so far as to say it wasn't one couple either. Evolutionists just speculate the rest, like Darwin wrongly did.


    Yes is does Tedford. If humans or any other extant species arose from just one breeding pair, there would be clear unmistakable signs of a sever genetic bottleneck in the DNA record.

    Fact is, there is no such sever "one-breeding pair" bottleneck in humans or any other extant species. The closest thing to that in humans is a hypothesized regional bottleneck that happened due to the eruption of the Toba volcano in Indonesia some 70,000 years ago. At that time human population may have hit a minimum of between 1000 and 10,000 breeding pairs.

    Toba genetic bottleneck

    You insistence on daily demonstrations of your profound ignorance is truly amazing.

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  57. Oleg,

    "A good example would be a star. Understanding how a star produces its light through thermonuclear fusion required the best minds in physics. That does not mean that stars are made by intelligent beings. They form naturally from a cloud of hydrogen and helium."

    The mistake is yours. Stars form by well know natural processes, not random change in a dna molecule. The probability of a star forming with the proper material is 1.

    However, the chance of complex proteins evolving to use quantum entanglement is 0. Considering the timing of origin the probability is 0.000000000~ These are completely different processes. You are comparing apples and oranges. A simple process is baking a cake, not creating photosynthesis.

    .

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  58. Peter,

    How do you know that "the chance of complex proteins evolving to use quantum entanglement is 0?"

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  59. Oleg,

    Simple really. Just take all the protons, electrons, neutrons, quarks, etc. and calculate the number of possible combinations of these particles necessary to create a molecule that converts a photon energy 100% to chemical energy using quantum entanglement. That is total number of possible occurences P(T). Then you simply estimate number of ways a photosynthetic molecule can be arranged in the time necessary to perform one random variation P(A). If P(A)/P(T)* (age of universe) < 1/10exp(27) then the value is for all intents 0. You'll notice I left a large margin of error.

    .

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  60. Peter Wadeck said: :The mistake is yours. Stars form by well know natural processes, not random change in a dna molecule. The probability of a star forming with the proper material is 1. "

    Ding ding ding! We [almost] have a winner! Evolution is also a well known natural process. Random change in a DNA molecule is a PART of this process, but it is not the ENTIRE PROCESS!

    My GOODNESS, I don't know why this is so hard to understand! It seems like no matter how many times it's clarified, some of you guys just don't seem capable of grasping this simple point. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with debating whether or not this process works, but before you can even attempt to do that you must UNDERSTAND the process!

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  61. Anyone,

    "Ding ding ding! We [almost] have a winner! Evolution is also a well known natural process. Random change in a DNA molecule is a PART of this process, but it is not the ENTIRE PROCESS!"

    See how evolutionists don't understand their own theory. Random fluctuations are supposed to create new processes, but never does. Evolutionists can't prove their theory so they resort to every obfuscation, or red herring in order to avoid the scientific truth of their theory. Random fluctuations in DNA has not produced life. No amount of bait and switching is going to change that fact.

    .

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  62. Peter,

    That hurricane-in-a-junkyard story isn't particularly convincing. I can say the same thing about more mundane objects:

    Just take all the protons, electrons, neutrons, quarks, etc. and calculate the number of possible combinations of these particles necessary to create a snowflake.

    What's your response to that?

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  64. Peter Wadeck said: "See how evolutionists don't understand their own theory."

    Peter, if I've said this once, I've said it a hundred times: If you ever find yourself thinking that you understand your opponent's position better than they do, you're probably constructing a straw man version of their position in your mind.

    "Random fluctuations in DNA has not produced life. No amount of bait and switching is going to change that fact."

    Peter, this is what I'm trying to help you understand: Everyone here agrees with that statement! The idea that random mutations, and nothing more, cause complex features to evolve is ridiculous. It's as ridiculous as the idea that stars are formed by hydrogen atoms floating around in space, and nothing more. It's as ridiculous as the idea that snowflakes are formed by random arrangements of water molecules, and nothing more.

    I literally don't know how to say this more simply, so I'll just repeat it, hoping it somehow sinks in:

    Random change in a DNA molecule is a PART of this process, but it is not the ENTIRE PROCESS!

    I wish I had a dime for every time a creationist said "randomness can't produce the diversity of life we see," as if they thought they were refuting something instead of just stating the obvious.

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  65. Derick Childress said...

    I literally don't know how to say this more simply, so I'll just repeat it, hoping it somehow sinks in:

    Random change in a DNA molecule is a PART of this process, but it is not the ENTIRE PROCESS!

    I wish I had a dime for every time a creationist said "randomness can't produce the diversity of life we see," as if they thought they were refuting something instead of just stating the obvious.


    You can't get a Creationist to understand the science when his whole world view depends on him not understanding it.

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  66. Oleg,

    "Just take all the protons, electrons, neutrons, quarks, etc. and calculate the number of possible combinations of these particles necessary to create a snowflake."

    The chance on two snowflakes being the same is zero. I guess you proved my point. The complexity of a life form is orders of magnitude greater than a snowflake which again proves my point.

    A better analogy would be creating Beethoven's 9th symphony by randomly hitting a keyboard. It just won't happen. Random fluctuations can't produce any complex entity.

    .

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  67. Anyone,

    "Random change in a DNA molecule is a PART of this process, but it is not the ENTIRE PROCESS!"

    See how evolutionists do not tell you what actually causes the creation of complex life. They just rant - it's not completely random, but never tell you what is responsible. And don't even ask for experimental proof were life is replicated in the lab. Typical bait and switch.

    .

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  68. Peter Wadeck said: "See how evolutionists do not tell you what actually causes the creation of complex life."

    It is heritable variation filtered through natural selection via differential reproductive success. The origin of the heritable variation that is selected for is from random mutations.

    Perhaps I'm being too harsh on you. After all, they do hide this information away in books.

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  69. Peter Wadeck said...

    Anyone,

    "Random change in a DNA molecule is a PART of this process, but it is not the ENTIRE PROCESS!"

    See how evolutionists do not tell you what actually causes the creation of complex life. They just rant - it's not completely random, but never tell you what is responsible. And don't even ask for experimental proof were life is replicated in the lab. Typical bait and switch


    The iterative feedback process of random (with respect to fitness) genetic variation filtered by selection creates complex life. All you need is imperfect self-replicators competing for resources, and you get evolving complexity. It's been demonstrated in computer simulations, in the lab, and in the wild.

    On the Gradual Evolution of Complexity and the Sudden Emergence of Complex Features

    Abstract: Evolutionary theory explains the origin of complex organismal features through a combination of reusing and extending information from less-complex traits, and by needing to exploit only one of many unlikely pathways to a viable solution. While the appearance of a new trait may seem sudden, we show that the underlying information associated with each trait evolves gradually. We study this process using digital organisms, self-replicating computer programs that mutate and evolve novel traits, including complex logic operations. When a new complex trait first appears, its proper function immediately requires the coordinated operation of many genomic positions. As the information associated with a trait increases, the probability of its simultaneous introduction drops exponentially, so it is nearly impossible for a significantly complex trait to appear without reusing existing information. We show that the total information stored in the genome increases only marginally when a trait first appears. Furthermore, most of the information associated with a new trait is either correlated with existing traits or co-opted from traits that were lost in conjunction with the appearance of the new trait. Thus, while total genomic information increases incrementally, traits that require much more information can still arise during the evolutionary process.


    Now if you say no one has ever told you what is responsible, you'll be lying.

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  71. Peter Wadeck said: "And don't even ask for experimental proof were life is replicated in the lab. Typical bait and switch."

    If by this statement you mean experimental evidence of life being created in the lab, then you're confusing evolution with abiogenesis. Evolution is a theory concerning how life changes over time, not how it originates.

    If by this statement you mean experimental evidence of evolution occurring, simply google: 'lenski experiment,' 'nylonase frameshift,' or, if you're feeling adventurous, 'experimental evidence for evolution."

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  72. Derick said, "It is heritable variation filtered through natural selection via differential reproductive success. The origin of the heritable variation that is selected for is from random mutations."

    This is your complete answer then? Is this the entire process?

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  73. Neal Tedford said...

    Derick said, "It is heritable variation filtered through natural selection via differential reproductive success. The origin of the heritable variation that is selected for is from random mutations."

    This is your complete answer then? Is this the entire process?


    It's a broad layman's summary of the process. To really get into all the specific details would take a lot more time and space than this blog can handle, and for you Tedford lots more honesty and IQ points than you possess.

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  74. Peter wrote: The chance on two snowflakes being the same is zero. I guess you proved my point. The complexity of a life form is orders of magnitude greater than a snowflake which again proves my point.

    What utter nonsense. I've shown that, by your reasoning, snowflakes can't form naturally, either. That shows the absurdity of your reasoning. I asked you how you get out of this predicament and you failed to respond.

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  75. Neal asked: "This is your complete answer then? Is this the entire process?"

    Like Thorton said, it's a summary put in to layman's terms. It would be similar to describing how a lightbulb works by saying "electricity flows through a wire, into the bulb, and excites the electrons in the filament, causing photons to be released." That's a more or less accurate overview, but simplified. There are still more things to understand about it. Why does exciting electrons release photons? How does the Electricity flow? ...etc.

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  76. Peter Wadeck said: "The chance on two snowflakes being the same is zero. I guess you proved my point. The complexity of a life form is orders of magnitude greater than a snowflake which again proves my point. "

    Peter, I can't even classify this as wrong; it just doesn't even make sense. How in the world does the fact that snowflakes are different 'prove your point'?

    "A better analogy would be creating Beethoven's 9th symphony by randomly hitting a keyboard. It just won't happen. Random fluctuations can't produce any complex entity."

    Educate yourself on what a straw man argument is. You seem to actually believe that we think randomness by itself produces complexity.

    Now Peter, if you've got some genuine developmental disorder or something that prevents you from grasping this concept, let me know so I'm not wasting everyone's time by explaining the same thing to you over and over and over and over again: When you say: "Random fluctuations can't produce any complex entity," Every single evolutionist in the world agrees with you! EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Your statement is absolutely, 100% correct. But you keep using it like it's a refutation of some sort.

    This is about the 5th time this has been explained to you.

    There are many people who both disagree with evolution, and adequately understand it at the same time. You are not one of these people.

    Please don't embarrass yourself, or others who share your beliefs, by using this absurd misrepresentation of evolutionary theory again. If you can't argue against what evolutionary theory actually posits, you're not adding anything to the discussion but noise.

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  77. Derick: this is complicated by scientific illiteracy, but that is something that afflicts the general American public, not just creationists.

    Typical contempt and arrogance, to designate "the general American public" as being characterized as mentally beset by "something that afflicts". Just keep on doin' it guys, more people need to see this sentiment in play. Meantime skepticism of the neo-Dawinian agenda keeps inching up as I'm sure you're aware from polling.

    The American public was productive enough to elicit the advent of the modern industrial economy, underpinned by armies of those trained in science and engineering, to an almost incredible historical level. And they paid huge amounts of taxes, vast fortunes, to people who think like you guys, in the form of research grants. I'm thinking more and more of the benefactors in this scenario will wake up to this arrogance on the part of the beneficiaries when encountering opinions seen here.

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  78. MSEE said...

    The American public was productive enough to elicit the advent of the modern industrial economy, underpinned by armies of those trained in science and engineering, to an almost incredible historical level.


    The key word there is was. The modern US industrial and technical economy was largely driven by WW2 and the resulting large numbers of college educated who went to school on the GI bill afterwards.

    That group of engineers and researchers are all retiring or already gone, and the US is currently lagging way behind in producing new talent like developing technical powers India and China. Last year China graduated more EEs alone than the total number of all engineers and scientists in every discipline in the US.

    Another sobering indicator is the dreadful showing of US high school students in the math and sciences area compared to the rest of the world. We're not even in the top 15 anymore. You may not care, but that bothers the hell out of me. That's why I make promoting science literacy and science education my top priority. One of the biggest problems comes from the mindset of the Fundy Christian right / YECs who try to push their anti-science crap into schools where ever they can. With those clowns, critical thinking and analysis of evidence is actively discouraged, school science standards are lowered to let their nonsense in. Instead of science education we get "it's only a theory" and "teach the controversy" and "if you didn't see it then it didn't happen" and a dozen other idiot catch=phrases. That's why we get clueless dolts like Tedford and Eocene who wouldn't recognize real science if it climbed up their leg and bit them on the butt.

    Sorry for the rant, but willful ignorance and stupidity like that foisted on kids makes my blood boil. The YECs/ Fundies aren't going to wreck science education in my country, not on my watch.

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  79. I said: {In reference to creationism} ...this is complicated by scientific illiteracy, but that is something that afflicts the general American public, not just creationists. "

    MSEE said: "Typical contempt and arrogance, to designate "the general American public" as being characterized as mentally beset by "something that afflicts". Just keep on doin' it guys, more people need to see this sentiment in play."

    Ignorance often mistakes expertise for arrogance.

    But there is no contempt or arrogance in a diagnosis. Americans are becoming less and less scientifically literate; the test scores show this. It's the same thing for math, engineering, and many, many other fields. What word other than 'afflicts' would you use?

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  80. Well said Thorton.

    Right now we seem to be heading for this.

    (also, mouseover the red button in the lower left corner)

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  81. MSEE wrote:And they paid huge amounts of taxes, vast fortunes, to people who think like you guys, in the form of research grants. I'm thinking more and more of the benefactors in this scenario will wake up to this arrogance on the part of the beneficiaries when encountering opinions seen here.

    As a degreed engineer, surely you can be more quantitative than that. Give us an idea what that "huge amounts of taxes, vast fortunes... in the form of research grants" really is.

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  82. Oleg,

    "What utter nonsense. I've shown that, by your reasoning, snowflakes can't form naturally, either. That shows the absurdity of your reasoning. I asked you how you get out of this predicament and you failed to respond."

    It is clear that you do not understand biology or probability. a)When it snows there are billions of ice crystals in an area of many cubic kilometers. This is nothing like the environment where photosynthesis takes place. b) The reaction to make a snow flake is as simple as it gets. There is no interdependencies like biological systems. Therefore the probabilities are vastly different. In order for you analogy to be meaningful you would have to have a leaf as large as the sky. This is yet another example of a bad analogy showing why you do not grasp the biology or the probability. This explains why you could be an evolutionist. To be an evolutionist you must try very hard to ignore the science.


    .

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  83. Peter wrote: It is clear that you do not understand biology or probability.

    That's hilarious, Peter! I know just enough probability theory to teach graduate-level statistical mechanics at a major research university. What is your level of expertise?

    a)When it snows there are billions of ice crystals in an area of many cubic kilometers.

    This is silly. You don't need to rummage through billions of ice crystals to find one snowflake. So that "argument" does not explain the paradox.


    b) The reaction to make a snow flake is as simple as it gets.

    If it's as simple as it gets, why don't you run through the numbers? Compute the probability of snowflake formation from " all the protons, electrons, neutrons, quarks" in two ways: first by assuming that they are distributed randomly, and then by taking into account the rules of physics that allow a snowflake to form. Show that the probability is minuscule in the former case and approaches one in the latter. Then we can move on to biology.

    Think you can pull it off? I don't. You're just throwing around sciency-sounding terms without even a cursory understanding of what you are saying. All you have is an argument from personal incredulity.

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  84. Oleg,

    "That's hilarious, Peter! I know just enough probability theory to teach graduate-level statistical mechanics at a major research university. What is your level of expertise?"

    What is hilarious that you are so blinded by your worldview that you keep coming up with these bad analogies. Clearly you don't understand the biology.

    "This is silly. You don't need to rummage through billions of ice crystals to find one snowflake. So that "argument" does not explain the paradox."

    Obviously the probability depends on the proportion of the number of events you are interested to the total possible events. The total number of snowflakes in you bad analogy is astronomical and relevant.

    "If it's as simple as it gets, why don't you run through the numbers? Compute the probability of snowflake formation from " all the protons, electrons, neutrons, quarks" in two ways: first by assuming that they are distributed randomly, and then by taking into account the rules of physics that allow a snowflake to form. Show that the probability is minuscule in the former case and approaches one in the latter. Then we can move on to biology."

    Again no mention of a biological system here. No DNA creating proteins, no replication. Just another diversion from the facts. No wonder you believe in evolution. You need such faulty logic to have a hope of belief in evolution.

    Your analogy is obviously a joke. Scientist can easily create snowflakes in the lab. That is so easy it is a hilarious to compare to a biological systems. Snowflakes could be created in a lab hundreds of years ago. But no so with a biological system. Scientists can only cut and paste existing biological systems to create life. They are decades away from creating life from scratch with our advanced knowledge. That shows the vast improbability of life spontaneously forming.

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  85. Peter wrote: Obviously the probability depends on the proportion of the number of events you are interested to the total possible events. The total number of snowflakes in you bad analogy is astronomical and relevant.

    Obviously the probability depends on the proportion of the number of events you are interested to the total possible events. The total number of snowflakes in you bad analogy is astronomical and relevant.


    The number of snowflakes does not matter, Peter. Each one of them is reliably produced as a result of a natural process. You would have a point if Nature had to make a billion attempts at making a snowflake and failed in almost all of them, resulting in just a handful of snowflakes. But you are not even arguing that! You are counting the number of successfully made snowflakes. You might as well multiply this number by the number of days it snowed and the number of years the Earth existed. This is not how probabilities are calculated.

    Again no mention of a biological system here. No DNA creating proteins, no replication. Just another diversion from the facts. No wonder you believe in evolution. You need such faulty logic to have a hope of belief in evolution.

    I'm showing that your numbers game is just that: a game. You have no idea how to calculate the numbers in a simple case of snowflakes, even less so in the case of biological systems. You just pretend that in one case the probability is close to one and in the other it's nearly zero. You have done no calculation along these lines and are just bluffing. In fact, your incoherent ramblings about billions of snowflakes demonstrate taht you can't calculate probabilities at all.

    Snowflakes could be created in a lab hundreds of years ago. But no so with a biological system. Scientists can only cut and paste existing biological systems to create life.

    This is completely orthogonal to the subject of discussion. The ability of a scientist to make something in the lab has nothing to do with the possibility of the object's natural formation. Scientists can't make a star in the lab, either. They do form naturally, however.

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  86. oleg

    What snowflakes have to do with complex protein machines? (oops did I say machines - here comes analogy police ...right Thorton?)
    I'm suprised you are teaching anbody.

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  88. Peter Wadeck said...

    It is clear that you do not understand biology or probability.


    Then show us the probability calculations. I say you can't. Prove me wrong.

    Your analogy is obviously a joke. Scientist can easily create snowflakes in the lab. That is so easy it is a hilarious to compare to a biological systems. Snowflakes could be created in a lab hundreds of years ago. But no so with a biological system. Scientists can only cut and paste existing biological systems to create life. They are decades away from creating life from scratch with our advanced knowledge. That shows the vast improbability of life spontaneously forming.

    What exceptionally poor reasoning.

    Science can't create a volcano in the lab, so that shows the vast improbability of a volcano spontaneously forming.

    Science can't create a hurricane in the lab, so that shows the vast improbability of a hurricane spontaneously forming.

    Science can't create solar fusion in the lab, so that shows the vast improbability of a star spontaneously forming.

    Have any more logic gems you want to share?

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  89. Oleg condescendingly mused,

    "That's hilarious, Peter! I know just enough probability theory to teach graduate-level statistical mechanics at a major research university. What is your level of expertise?"

    but Peter observed:

    What is hilarious is that you are so blinded by your worldview that you keep coming up with these bad analogies. Clearly you don't understand the biology.
    ===================

    Actually Peter the thing that is truly hilarious is that such a self-promoting superior intellect with such world shaking responsibilities even attempted to breach the Deep Time Continuum to venture from the realms of the John Hopkins Parellel Universe to even dignify his presence inside this lowly blog to be among clearly inferior lifeforms such as ourselves. Clearly he has a higher materialist "Messiah Complex" for saving us from the false religion into his wonderful light to which we apparently have been ungrateful.
    ----------------------------------

    Eugen questioned:

    oleg

    What do snowflakes have to do with complex protein machines? (oops did I say machines - here comes analogy police ...right Thorton?)
    I'm suprised you are teaching anbody.
    ========================

    Eugen

    You have to understand that snowflakes are nothing more than prime examples of informational codes, just like Hurricanes. Nothing more than natural blind forces of physics and chemicals are what developed the complex informational coding system encrypted inside that original DNA double helix protein molecule structure for which all life today exists and moves about. Now they can't actually provide one real world example of where a code can be created using nothing but physics and chemicals. You'll just have to take it on faith that they actually know what they are philosophizing about. However, they have , for our benefit, created several cartoon animations to illustrate exactly how it works.

    However, if you are a billionaire and can pay them enough money like Bill Gates did, then they will grant permission for you to have an audience with them and they'll show you how to develope codes with nothing more than chaos for which Bill Gates and his Microsoft stockholders are truly greatful. Microsoft's profits soared to previously unimagined astronomical heights after Bill fired all those useless dead weight staff of programming code developers and used nothing more than free energy to develope "Windows 7". Seriously, this actually happened and I'm sure if you go to the John Hopkins web archives, there's a story about this burried somewhere under all the other conjectural piles of philosophical promise making.
    -----------------------------

    Thorton blustered:

    "Science can't create a volcano in the lab, so that shows the vast improbability of a volcano spontaneously forming."
    =====================

    I once had a chef at Benihana's Japanese Grill building me a volcano from nothing more than onion rings and soy sauce using his Ginsu knives.
    ---------------------

    Thorton again blustered:

    "Science can't create a hurricane in the lab, so that shows the vast improbability of a hurricane spontaneously forming."
    =====================

    My friend and I in high school while spinning donuts in his 1969 Chevelle on the baseball field after school on a dry hot sunny day created a dust devil which is like a Hurricane.
    ---------------------

    Thorton again snarked:

    "Science can't create solar fusion in the lab, so that shows the vast improbability of a star spontaneously forming."
    =====================

    And here we thought almighty science was going to finally wean us off dependence from Big-Oil.

    Go figure. *wink*

    "Always illustrate absurdity with absurdity"

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hello Eocene,

    Thanks for the compliments. Any chance that you can evaluate the probabilities Peter is talking about?

    ReplyDelete
  91. Oleg said,

    "The ability of a scientist to make something in the lab has nothing to do with the possibility of the object's natural formation. Scientists can't make a star in the lab, either. They do form naturally, however."

    Again with the deep (metaphysical?) denial through the lens of false analogies. Yes scientist who want to discover how a star works have to do experiments. Have you ever heard of particle accelerators.

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2002/06feb_hessi/

    Fortunately for evolutionists experimental proof is totally unnecessary.

    ReplyDelete
  92. ID: With proponents like Eocene, who needs detractors?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Peter,

    Evolutionary biologists do conduct experiments. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with one or two.

    For starters, see E. coli long-term evolution experiment on Wikipedia. And here is an account of the experiment published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: doi:10.1073/pnas.0803151105.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Peter Wadeck said...

    (snip)


    Peter, you forgot to provide your probability calculations for snowflakes and for biological life.

    Please try again.

    Creationists always brag about how such calculations disprove ToE, but they can never produce them. Never. What are the lurkers to think?

    ReplyDelete
  95. I'm thinking more and more of the benefactors in this scenario will wake up to this arrogance on the part of the beneficiaries when encountering opinions seen here.

    The arrogance is justified. It takes years and stupendous hard work to become a scientist or public intellectual. There was a time when America respected men and women of learning. There was...

    It is tragic. Germany has a theoretical chemist for Chancellor, India's Prime Minister is a distinguished economist, and in China scientists and intellectuals are feted and treated like rockstars. But in the US we are frenzied in adulation of ignorant, ill-educated, orthographically challenged half-termers and incoherent rabble-rousers and long to be ruled by them.

    So then what would happen if "benefactors benefactors...wake up to this arrogance". They would take the knife to funding for science, something that has been going on for 10 years now. We already have dubious characters and shadowy organizations demanding why money should be spent searching for fossils in foreign lands! Every research university in the US is struggling to keep its programs funded, and if the "benefactors" have their way and reduce research funding several of them may collapse. But this time the scientists and intellectuals will not be held back. Today they are no longer obliged to live and work here. China is pulling out all stops to attract ethnic Chinese scientists as well as scientists from every part of the world. India is investing (although on a smaller scale) top dollar and already managed to stem the emigration of its best undergrads to the US for grad studies - emigration for math and science is now a trickle, and on the decline for engineering and CS. Brazil and Mexico too are working aggressively, and Europe has always provided a safe harbor. Our latest Chemistry Nobelist, Dr. Ramakrishnan has been working at Cambridge for many years after he left the US for its poor funding climate. So if the "benefactors" egged by their ignorant leaders (and advisors like Michael Egnore MD) decide to act they will be cutting off the branch they sit on and shooting ourselves in the foot.

    ReplyDelete
  96. oleg,

    And what do the lab experiments with e-coli show? Whatever way you want to interpret it.

    Evolutionists see the relatively small change over tens of thousands of generations subject to intense pressures as evidence for all of life descending from a prokaryote cell. Slam dunk, case closed, who are ye to question such poooowerful evidence...

    Others see the relatively small change and say what's the big deal... can't evolutionists see how hard and long it takes to strain a minor change out of gzillions of these very hardy and adaptable little creatures? It's the mammal equivalent of lactose intolerant animals being able to digest milk after a million years of evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  97. So Neal, do you acknowledge that scientists can observe evolution of bacteria in the lab in great detail? Can you see that they can trace specific mutations that allowed the E. coli in Lenski's lab to switch to a different food? And that they can "roll the tape back" and observe the same evolutionary development again?

    However insignificant these developments might seem to you, this is how science is done.

    Of course, Lenski's bacteria are not the only source of information that underpins theory of evolution. No one is claiming that. But first you, guys, have to acknowledge that evolutionary biologists like Lenski do real science. Peter Wadeck seemed to deny even that.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Neal said: "Others see the relatively small change and say what's the big deal..."

    Neal, When Darwin first presented evidence that organisms change over time, the creationists responded: "Big deal! The variability is built into the organism from the beginning!" Once genetics were understood and it was demonstrated that the DNA code could change via mutations, the creationists responded: "Big deal! But there's no such thing as a 'beneficial' mutation." (this sentiment was common even up until 15 years ago; see Kent Hovind's early videos for reference) When beneficial mutations were pointed out, the creationists replied: "Big deal! Some mutations are beneficial, but they're too rare to be of any use." As it has become apparent that beneficial mutations actually occur quite often, the creationists replied: "Big deal! Mutations can't add information to the genome!" When it is pointed out that mutations do add 'information' to the genome in many ways, including gene duplications, retroviruses, and HGT, the creationists reply: "Big deal! Mutations can't add complex, specified information to the genome!" (which even now is qualified with functional complex specified information, or even still, digital functional complex specified information.

    As science marches forward, creationism keeps redrawing the "Big Deal" barrier.

    I'm taking bets now. My guess is that in the not too distant future, we'll be hearing: "Big deal! Sure it's been demonstrated to most rational people beyond a reasonable doubt that natural processes are more than sufficient to explain the origin and diversity of life on earth. Just because life could have evolved, that doesn't mean it did!."

    ReplyDelete
  99. Neal Tedford said...

    Others see the relatively small change and say what's the big deal... can't evolutionists see how hard and long it takes to strain a minor change out of gzillions of these very hardy and adaptable little creatures?


    LOL! Tedford grudgingly admits it's evolution, but only a little bit of evolution. Sort of like being just a little bit offsides in football, or having your girlfriend be just a little bit pregnant.

    It's the mammal equivalent of lactose intolerant animals being able to digest milk after a million years of evolution.

    BTW dummy...genetic evidence shows lactose tolerance in adult humans did evolve in the last 10,000 years. It's an evolutionary advantage to be able to consume milk in societies that cultivate dairy animals.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Macroevolution can be studied in the lab. And the results put the lie, decisively, to all of the antievolution claims (including unfounded assertions about probability) that we see on this blog (as well as elsewhere).

    ReplyDelete
  101. Derick Childress:

    "ID: With proponents like Eocene, who needs detractors? "
    ========================

    New Age Mysticism: with proponants like Derick Childress who receive direct revelations from the spirit world, who needs the bible?

    ReplyDelete
  102. re ecoli

    I think it had few billion years to evolve. Slow evolver I guess ?
    Another question: what is e coli evolving into?

    ReplyDelete
  103. Eocene said: "New Age Mysticism: with proponants like Derick Childress who receive direct revelations from the spirit world, who needs the bible?"

    Eocene, as usual your post parts ways with reality quickly. I, along with all the other science advocates here are trying to explain that 'direct revelations from the spirit world' are not valid ways of acquiring knowledge about the mechanics of our world.

    I take it that the irony is lost on you that my position is actually the polar opposite of what you're accusing me of believing; it is in fact yourself and others like Neal and MSEE who are quite literally putting 'direct revelations from the spirit world' above science in the quest for knowledge.

    And to the contrary; I put great effort into defending the Bible against people who try to make it say things that are nonsense; things that are easily proven wrong. (and things that have been proven wrong for a long time.)

    ReplyDelete
  104. Eugen wondered:

    "re ecoli

    I think it had few billion years to evolve. Slow evolver I guess ?
    Another question: what is e coli evolving into?"
    ======================

    They are adapting and engineering themselves into other versions of fecal miracles to tackle whatever needs recycling. Now if you'll wait just a moment, we'll start getting the other Kool-Aid versions of how it's Macroing itself into Hunde poop evolutionary history.

    Well that is if we can get Doc Lenski to interpret the millions of replicated bacteria like a spirit medium does tea leaves.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Derick childress:

    "I, along with all the other science advocates here . . . . "
    ==================

    Not a chance, you're a science advocate ???

    -----------------

    Derick Childress:

    "I put great effort into defending the Bible against people who try to make it say things that are nonsense; things that are easily proven wrong. (and things that have been proven wrong for a long time.) "
    =================

    Then why when Jesus quoted the Genesis account of Creation did he not explain that God evolved man and woman from animals like "Lucy" and "Ardi" as opposed to taking elements from the Earth and making a direct creation ???

    BTW, just curious: Do you believe Jesus was God ???

    ReplyDelete
  106. Eugen said...

    Another question: what is e coli evolving into?


    It is not possible to predict specifically what a species will evolve into. That is going to depend on how future genetic variations cause it to interact with its future environment.

    All we can say for certain is that in the last 20 years this particular population did develop genetic variations that gave it a significant new way of obtaining nutrients. That's evolution, observed in the lab, no matter how the Cretos try to spin it.

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  107. Thorton:
    That's evolution, observed in the lab, no matter how the Cretos try to spin it.

    Creationists do not deny that evolution occurs.

    As a matter of fact Lenski's experiments support baraminology.

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  108. Derick:
    "Big deal! Mutations can't add information to the genome!" When it is pointed out that mutations do add 'information' to the genome in many ways, including gene duplications, retroviruses, and HGT, the creationists reply: "

    That isn't the argument.

    The argument is that random mutations cannot create information from scratch and cannot increase the information.

    You mentioned gene duplications- well Dr Spetner covered that in 1997- haiving two copies of the same thing does not increase the information.

    IOW Derick you don't know what you are talking about- as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  109. aghunt:
    Macroevolution can be studied in the lab. And the results put the lie, decisively, to all of the antievolution claims (including unfounded assertions about probability) that we see on this blog (as well as elsewhere).

    Your definition of macroevolution does not match the Creationist's definition.

    Not one of your examples fits the Creationist's definition of macroevolution.

    Go figure...

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  110. oleg:
    So Neal, do you acknowledge that scientists can observe evolution of bacteria in the lab in great detail? Can you see that they can trace specific mutations that allowed the E. coli in Lenski's lab to switch to a different food? And that they can "roll the tape back" and observe the same evolutionary development again?

    E. coli "evolving" into E. coli fits in with baraminology.

    And as far as anyone knows Lenski's bacteria evolved via "built-in responses to environmental cues".

    ReplyDelete
  111. Joe G said...

    The argument is that random mutations cannot create information from scratch and cannot increase the information


    But the iterative feedback process of random mutations filtered by selection does it quite easily.

    Amazing that IDiots like JoeTard here can't grasp that.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Can the same process that allows E.coli to learn to eat a new kind of food turn a bacteria into Blue Whale, even in the span of a billion years? I'm not convinced that this has been demonstrated.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Well, Nat lets watch e.coli for next 20 years.It should develop little flippers by then.Then a spout I think or tail... I don't know what should be next.

    Now guys really---what did it wait for all these billions of years.

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  114. The argument is that random mutations cannot create information from scratch and cannot increase the information

    Thorton:
    But the iterative feedback process of random mutations filtered by selection does it quite easily.

    So you say yet you don't have any evidence for it.

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  115. natschuster said...

    Can the same process that allows E.coli to learn to eat a new kind of food turn a bacteria into Blue Whale, even in the span of a billion years?


    Yes.

    I'm not convinced that this has been demonstrated.

    The process, small incremental heritable changes filtered by selection and accumulating over time, has been conclusively demonstrated. It is a fact.

    The consilient fossil and genetic evidence that this same process working over much longer periods of time produced the variations in life we see today is overwhelming.

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  116. Thorton said: “But the iterative feedback process of random mutations filtered by selection does it quite easily.”

    If we could get back to flying insects for just a few seconds… It seems to me that certain features required for insect flight are useless until fully developed. I commented a while back that there is some SERIOUS optimization that has to take place before flight is anywhere near possible. This means that all of the cybernetic systems required for flight must be “optimized” before flight itself can be optimized, which means that flight development is not even part of ANY feedback loop until then. There is simply nothing to select for until then.

    No, wait, let me guess… the insects used the under-developed wings as tie-clips?

    Flight is a very sophisticated engineering accomplishment for us, but that says nothing of the computational requirements of autonomous UAV flight. When all of this computational power is manifested in an insect’s brain (forget about the fully integrated mechanical systems), should it not give the naturalist some pause? Why would anyone think that this is accidental?

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  117. Mike said...

    Thorton said: “But the iterative feedback process of random mutations filtered by selection does it quite easily.”

    If we could get back to flying insects for just a few seconds… It seems to me that certain features required for insect flight are useless until fully developed. I commented a while back that there is some SERIOUS optimization that has to take place before flight is anywhere near possible. This means that all of the cybernetic systems required for flight must be “optimized” before flight itself can be optimized, which means that flight development is not even part of ANY feedback loop until then. There is simply nothing to select for until then.


    This is just the same old tired Creto "what good is half an eye" argument.

    Evolution doesn't posit insect with useless half-formed wings, half formed flight muscles, half-formed neural pathways, etc. At each stage in the development there were perfectly viable insects with less flying capability that what we see today.

    In their particular environment, early insects with small proto-wings and proto-controls that could fly (or glide) 1% better than those with no flight ability had an advantage. They could escape from predators slightly better, get to food sources slightly quicker. They thrived and passed those genetic variations along. Later insects with 2% rudimentary flight capability had an advantage over the ones with 1%. 10% modern capability is better than 9%. All the pieces required for flight evolved slowly and in parallel. In every generation each step was fully functional, but with slightly more capability than the generations before.

    Flight is a very sophisticated engineering accomplishment for us, but that says nothing of the computational requirements of autonomous UAV flight. When all of this computational power is manifested in an insect’s brain (forget about the fully integrated mechanical systems), should it not give the naturalist some pause? Why would anyone think that this is accidental?

    Humans are not evolving UAVs slowly through thousands of slow incremental changes over millions of generations. They are trying to built all the systems from scratch at once. That is a huge difference in the human design approach from the results that nature produced.

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  118. They still call the bacteria "E-Coli" for a reason.

    Lenski said, "The only known barrier to aerobic growth on citrate is its inability to transport citrate under oxic conditions."

    All the E-coli needed to do to use citrate was to find a way to get it through the cell membrane but it took trillions of E-Coli (that number is pretty much impossible with mammals) and 30,000 generations (how many mammal years is that?) to develop it, and then only one of a dozen lines of cells did so while under the intelligent guidance of lab techs.

    Two mutations were necessary, but the techs first isolated the e-coli with the right first mutation. Unlikely things tend to happen when you throw in a good touch of intelligent intervention.

    If only one mutation is needed to add some ability, then Darwinian evolution is a possibility. However, if more than one mutation is needed, the probability of getting all the right ones grows exponentially worse.

    Exponentially.

    If two mutations have to occur before there is a net beneficial effect, but an intermediate state is harmful, or less fit then the starting state then according to evolutionary theory the show stops.

    You need to add just the right mutations that are either passive or add an intermediate benefit. The lab techs, by isolating the e-coli with the right first mutation gave them an advantage that was conferred by intelligent design. In other words, they loaded the Dice!

    If more than two are needed then the task gets exponentially difficult and likely out of reach of random mutation for practical purposes.

    Do you have a laboratory example where more than two mutations occured that conferred a new benefit?

    How many mutations does it take to develop an insect wing? I'm guessing many more than two and each intemediate step has to either be benefical or passive.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Thorton said: “Evolution doesn't posit insect with useless half-formed wings, half formed flight muscles, half-formed neural pathways, etc. At each stage in the development there were perfectly viable insects with less flying capability that what we see today. In their particular environment, early insects with small proto-wings and proto-controls that could fly (or glide) 1% better than those with no flight ability had an advantage.”

    What is the difference between a “useless half-formed wing” and a “proto-wing”? If the insect is capable of any flight at all, I think it is safe to just go ahead and call it a “wing”. Depending on the weight of the insect, the mechanical properties of the wing (not to mention the dynamics of the muscles used to power it), must be very precise to get the animal off the ground at all. So if by “proto-wing” you mean a wing that is barely capable of flight, there still must be intermediaries (proto-proto-wings and muscles?), so I will maintain my original assertion, which is that random mutation alone must be responsible for achieving the necessary properties for the wings, muscles and guidance systems (and for those to work together also) to allow for even rudimentary flight. There is no feedback loop until at least that rudimentary system has been attained. Only then will the natural selection aspect kick in to select for “optimized flight”.

    Thorton said: “All the pieces required for flight evolved slowly and in parallel. In every generation each step was fully functional, but with slightly more capability than the generations before.”

    So am I to believe that all of these systems, through random mutation, evolved slowly and in parallel, until a rudimentary flight system was achieved? Does anybody REALLY believe it happened that way?

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  120. Tedford the idiot said...

    If more than two are needed then the task gets exponentially difficult and likely out of reach of random mutation for practical purposes.

    Do you have a laboratory example where more than two mutations occured that conferred a new benefit?


    If more than two are needed simultaneously then it becomes exponentially more difficult for an improvement to spontaneously arise. But that's not how evolution is observed to work, so as always your ignorance based "point" is meaningless.

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  121. Neal,

    there is so much wrong w your post it's amazing, but i'll focus on one:

    "The lab techs, by isolating the e-coli with the right first mutation gave them an advantage that was conferred by intelligent design."

    wow. do you have any idea how this study was actually conducted? I'll give you a hint: there was no isolation of bacteria with the "right first mutation". In fact, that would have been impossible bc the first mutation was neutral so the techs would have no way to identify bacteria that carried it.another fail for you; but as you retweeted "Failure is not an enemy, it is an instructor. It is fertilizer for the next harvest." apparently you have a lot of fertilizer.

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  122. Neal,

    You have made five or so glaring errors in your latest comment. I won't bother to point out all of them, but one I can't just pass up.

    The experimentalists did not help the evolution of their bacteria in any way apart from putting them on a diet of citrate. They "isolat[ed] the e-coli with the right first mutation" not in the sense that you think they did (in order to help them). Go back and reread the article until you understand what they did.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Mike said...

    What is the difference between a “useless half-formed wing” and a “proto-wing”? If the insect is capable of any flight at all, I think it is safe to just go ahead and call it a “wing”. Depending on the weight of the insect, the mechanical properties of the wing (not to mention the dynamics of the muscles used to power it), must be very precise to get the animal off the ground at all. So if by “proto-wing” you mean a wing that is barely capable of flight, there still must be intermediaries (proto-proto-wings and muscles?), so I will maintain my original assertion, which is that random mutation alone must be responsible for achieving the necessary properties for the wings, muscles and guidance systems (and for those to work together also) to allow for even rudimentary flight. There is no feedback loop until at least that rudimentary system has been attained. Only then will the natural selection aspect kick in to select for “optimized flight”.


    Flying insects didn't evolve from scratch, they evolved from existing crawling insects. The basic componentss - brain, nervous system, muscles, carapace - were already in place. All that needed to happen was modifications to existing systems.

    That's pretty much how all evolution works - small step-wise modifications to existing parts.

    So am I to believe that all of these systems, through random mutation, evolved slowly and in parallel, until a rudimentary flight system was achieved? Does anybody REALLY believe it happened that way?

    That's what the evidence shows, and what every professional entomologist in the world accepts. What you choose to believe won't affect the validity of the scientific evidence in the least.

    There are tens of thousands of good papers available on the evolutionary origin of flight in insects, if you're interested.

    Google Scholar: origin of insect flight

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  124. Here is a fairly recent paper with a good outline of the evidence for the evolutionary path of insect flight.

    Molecular phylogenetic analysis of evolutionary trends in stonefly wing structure and locomotor behavior

    Abstract: Insects in the order Plecoptera (stoneflies) use a form of two-dimensional aerodynamic locomotion called surface skimming to move across water surfaces. Because their weight is supported by water, skimmers can achieve effective aerodynamic locomotion even with small wings and weak flight muscles. These mechanical features stimulated the hypothesis that surface skimming may have been an intermediate stage in the evolution of insect flight, which has perhaps been retained in certain modern stoneflies. Here we present a phylogeny of Plecoptera based on nucleotide sequence data from the small subunit rRNA (18S) gene. By mapping locomotor behavior and wing structural data onto the phylogeny, we distinguish between the competing hypotheses that skimming is a retained ancestral trait or, alternatively, a relatively recent loss of flight. Our results show that basal stoneflies are surface skimmers, and that various forms of surface skimming are distributed widely across the plecopteran phylogeny. Stonefly wings show evolutionary trends in the number of cross veins and the thickness of the cuticle of the longitudinal veins that are consistent with elaboration and diversification of flight-related traits. These data support the hypothesis that the first stoneflies were surface skimmers, and that wing structures important for aerial flight have become elaborated and more diverse during the radiation of modern stoneflies.

    From the paper

    "Insect flight is an example of a complex trait whose origin is difficult to explain by using a model that depends on gradual progression through intermediate stages (1, 2). How can tiny wings, simple wing hinges, and weak muscles provide a functional advantage over no wings at all? A novel solution to this riddle was recently provided by the discovery of surface skimming, a nonflying form of aerodynamic locomotion used by certain stoneflies (Plecoptera) and mayflies (Ephemeroptera) to move in two dimensions across water surfaces (3–7). By flapping their wings or by using them as nonflapping sails while their weight is supported by water, skimmers can achieve effective aerodynamic locomotion even with small wings and weak flight muscles (3, 4). "

    HTH

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  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  126. Neal Tedford said...

    Nano,

    They did isolate the bacteria with the right first mutation, but at the time they didn't do it for that reason. It was an after the fact thing. But the point is, the isolation was done by an outside intelligent agent and that action made it possible for the second right mutation to occur only in that population.


    No they didn't you idiot. The only 'isolation' was that 12 separate colonies were established from a single identical population at the start of the experiment and allowed to grow and develop independently. The isolation into 12 groups happened before the first of the citrate mutations developed randomly in one of the 12. The same colony later developed a second random mutation that combined with the first to allow for the citrate utilization.

    Your inability to understand the simplest science is truly astounding.

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  127. I'm not too familar with stonefiles, so help be out here.

    Stoneflies either come in the winged variety no wing variety. Wings may be small on some, but its wings or no wings. That gets to the most fundamental problem with evolution. I'm not talking about the size of the wings, just wings period. You have to have a poof... there is the first creature with wings moment... even with the appearance of small wings. Now you see it and now you don't. How can you be inbetween not having wings and having small wings? It is an inconceivable jugernaut. All those mutations just keep adding up passively until you have a "poof now you see it" event.

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  128. Correction noted for the E-coli isolation, but what the citrate digestion mutation shows is a far cry from common descent and macroevolution.

    There is a reason it is still called E-coli, and the ability to digest citrate is greatly exaggerated. Interestingly, the New Scientist says, "A major evolutionary innovation has unfurled right in front of researchers’ eyes. It’s the first time evolution has been caught in the act of making such a rare and complex new trait."

    First time? What happened to the mountain of evidence? Perhaps the mountain is the stuff where e-coli is usually found in the wild?

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  129. Neal Tedford said...

    I'm not too familar with stonefiles, so help be out here.

    Stoneflies either come in the winged variety no wing variety. Wings may be small on some, but its wings or no wings. That gets to the most fundamental problem with evolution. I'm not talking about the size of the wings, just wings period. You have to have a poof... there is the first creature with wings moment... even with the appearance of small wings. Now you see it and now you don't. How can you be inbetween not having wings and having small wings? It is an inconceivable jugernaut. All those mutations just keep adding up passively until you have a "poof now you see it" event.


    Tedford, I'm starting to think you have some sort of actual brain damage.

    See if you can answer this. In the winter deciduous trees have no leaves. In the summer they have leaves.

    Leaves may be small on some in the early spring, but it's leaves or no leaves. That gets to the most fundamental problem with your botany ideas. I'm not talking about the size of the leaves, just leaves period. You have to have a poof... there is the first tree with leaves moment... even with the appearance of small leaves. Now you see it and now you don't. How can you be in-between not having leaves and having small leaves? It is an inconceivable juggernaut. All those mutations just keep adding up passively until you have a "poof now you see it" event.

    You won't get it of course, but everyone else will understand just how clueless your latest argument is.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Neal Tedford said...

    Correction noted for the E-coli isolation, but what the citrate digestion mutation shows is a far cry from common descent and macroevolution.


    The experiment clearly shows the process leading to common descent, and it clearly shows the process by which macroevolution occurs.

    There is a reason it is still called E-coli, and the ability to digest citrate is greatly exaggerated. Interestingly, the New Scientist says, "A major evolutionary innovation has unfurled right in front of researchers’ eyes. It’s the first time evolution has been caught in the act of making such a rare and complex new trait."

    First time? What happened to the mountain of evidence? Perhaps the mountain is the stuff where e-coli is usually found in the wild?


    The idiot still can't read. First time caught in the act, i.e. the entire process observed and documented first hand instead of being demonstrated from the mountain of evidence thousands of previous instances left behind.

    You really should concentrate on being a good pastor, because obviously this science stuff is just beyond you.

    ReplyDelete
  131. I still do not understand after all these exchanges...

    Is this the original e.coli from few billion years ago that just decided to evolve into something else?

    ReplyDelete
  132. Eocene said: "Then why when Jesus quoted the Genesis account of Creation did he not explain that God evolved man and woman from animals like "Lucy" and "Ardi" as opposed to taking elements from the Earth and making a direct creation ???"

    I don't know Eocene, you'd have to ask him. While you're at it, ask him why he didn't feel it necessary to correct the old testament perception that the sun orbited a stationary earth. (psalms 93:1; 62 other passages)
    Or why he let us keep thinking demons cause diseases. Or why he didn't invent a longer-lasting lightbulb or a better mousetrap. Perhaps setting our science straight was not what he came to do.

    "BTW, just curious: Do you believe Jesus was God ???"

    Yep.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Eugen said:
    1. "Another question: what is e coli evolving into?"

    2. "Well, Nat lets watch e.coli for next 20 years.It should develop little flippers by then.Then a spout I think or tail... I don't know what should be next."

    3. "Is this the original e.coli from few billion years ago that just decided to evolve into something else?"

    Eugen, every one of your comments drips with your ignorance and misunderstanding about what evolutionary theory actually says. You are refuting only a twisted caricature of the idea in your mind.

    Anyone with even the most rudimentary concept of what the theory of evolution actually proposes would know that: 1. It is not possible to predict which features will arise in which creatures in the future. Mutations are the raw material of evolution, and those mutations are random with respect to fitness. 2. Complex features like fully formed flippers don't evolve in 20 years, especially when there is no similar precursor. I would like to assume that you were trying to be clever in this comment, but based on some of your other comments I just can't be sure that you're not actually that uninformed. 3. Modern e.coli did not exist a few billion years ago. Things do not evolve 'from' modern animals.

    I've said this before to others: There are individuals who both genuinely disagree with evolution, and adequately understand it; you are not one of these people. Read an introductory evolutionary biology textbook, or better yet, Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution is True."

    Then, when you actually know what you're talking about, come back and join in the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Neal, I wouldn't use the same words as Thorton, but I'm afraid his underlying point is correct. You're bringing a knife to a gun fight; you don't know your science, and these guys do. Comment after comment you mangle reason, logic, and understanding. There is nothing inherently wrong in not being proficient in science; but if that's the case, quit representing our faith so poorly by continuing to spout out absurdities. All you're doing is making Christians look stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Derick,

    The arrogant insults by evolutionists on this blog speaks volumes about how little they know about science.


    Thorton compares the evolution of insect wings to growing leaves, and that represents science? When growing leaves in the springtime represents insect wing evolution the theory has serious problems on multiple levels.

    When trillions of E-coli over tens of thousands of generations is the first time that a couple mutations are observed to confer a benefit, the theory has problems... because the rest of the mountain of evidence is based on speculation and just-so stories.

    By the way, you can go to http://www.sunrisesunset.com/ and see current SUNRISE and SUNSET times from the Griffith observatory for many locations around the world. I'm sure they believe the earth revolves around the sun. While you are browsing the net you may want to check out the Special Theory of Relativity and see what it says about absolute reference frames.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Neal Tedford said...

    The arrogant insults by evolutionists on this blog speaks volumes about how little they know about science.


    The harsh language come because people like you insist on lying and misrepresenting the actual science. As I told you, science literacy for US students is a top priority of mine. Blustering scientifically illiterate fools like you Tedford are part of the problem.

    Thorton compares the evolution of insect wings to growing leaves, and that represents science? When growing leaves in the springtime represents insect wing evolution the theory has serious problems on multiple levels.

    Exactly as predicted, you were too dense to get the meaning of the analogy.

    Tell us all Tedford, what is your criteria for determining if a structure is a wing? In a bird embryo, how much do the cells have to develop before the embryo goes *poof" from non-wing to wing?

    When trillions of E-coli over tens of thousands of generations is the first time that a couple mutations are observed to confer a benefit, the theory has problems...

    The experiment wasn't the first time beneficial mutations have been observed you idiot. They were the first time a major change as evidenced by the development of a whole new way of obtaining nutrients was observed real-time. It's the equivalent of a mutation in humans that allowed them to live by eating rocks and dirt.

    I don't suffer fools near as well as Derick does but we both have the same message for you. You don't understand the science being discussed even a little bit, and all you're doing is making Christians look like blithering idiots every time you open your mouth.

    You need to heed that wise advice - "better to keep quiet and appear ignorant that than speak and remove all doubt,"

    ReplyDelete
  137. Eugen said...

    I still do not understand after all these exchanges...

    Is this the original e.coli from few billion years ago that just decided to evolve into something else?


    No, it's the E coli from 20 years ago that was observed to undergo evolutionary changes through a process predicted by the theory.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Thorton is confusing bird embryo development and leaf buds with the evolution of insect wings. The genetic code for building the bird wing already exists in the embryo, while the non-winged insects do not possess the genetic code to build wings or "proto-wings". Multiple genes are needed to code for even small, weak proto-wings to be built.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Thorton is confusing bird embryo development and leaf buds with the evolution of insect wings.

    Thou shalt not lie, Neal Tedford.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Modern e.coli did not exist a few billion years ago. Things do not evolve 'from' modern animals.

    Derick:
    My knowledge of biology is basic including ToE. I have doubts about evolution working only in a blind mode. That's why I come here to clarify it to my little mind. Don't mind me being clown on duty, I can't help it. It may be good to lighten up sometimes. I just imagined e.coli with little ears and started to LOL. Even if we do not agree on something I respect people here. One thing we should stick to is science and logic.

    Alrighty then. When you say modern e.coli does it mean there was old one? How old are original e.coli? How different are they? Quick look online didn't give me answers.


    Thorton:
    No, it's the E coli from 20 years ago that was observed to undergo evolutionary changes through a process predicted by the theory.


    OK tnx..but same as above after "alrighty then"

    ReplyDelete
  141. Neal wrote: When trillions of E-coli over tens of thousands of generations is the first time that a couple mutations are observed to confer a benefit, the theory has problems... because the rest of the mountain of evidence is based on speculation and just-so stories.

    Neal, you don't seem to grasp the reason why the E. coli in Lenksi's lab evolved the ability to digest citrate. It's because they were placed in a medium where that was the primary source of energy. How did you miss that? There was no advantage in developing this ability as long as they lived on glucose, so similar mutations that arose in the past did not increase fitness.

    ReplyDelete
  142. oleg:
    Neal, you don't seem to grasp the reason why the E. coli in Lenksi's lab evolved the ability to digest citrate. It's because they were placed in a medium where that was the primary source of energy.

    Which would lead us to infer the change occurred due to "built-in responses to environmental cues" and not via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    There isn't anything in Lenski's experiment which demonstrates blind, undirected chemical processes (the proposed mechanisms of evolution) didit.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Thorton:
    Here is a fairly recent paper with a good outline of the evidence for the evolutionary path of insect flight.

    It is all just speculation based on the assumption that such things evolved.

    And notice how it doesn't say anything about blind, undirected chemical processes....

    ReplyDelete
  144. Thorton:
    The process, small incremental heritable changes filtered by selection and accumulating over time, has been conclusively demonstrated.

    There isn't any evidence that those small incremental heritable changes were genetic accidents.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Thorton:
    The consilient fossil and genetic evidence that this same process working over much longer periods of time produced the variations in life we see today is overwhelming.

    Liar- there isn't any genetic evidence that supports the alleged transformations- you know from single-cell to metazoan for example.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Joe,

    The built-in response theory is inconsistent with the contingent nature of observed evolution. If you read Lenski's article in PNAS you will learn that citrate-eating bacteria evolved in only 1 out of 12 batches taken from the frozen samples.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Joe looks like you know biology:

    Liar- there isn't any genetic evidence that supports the alleged transformations- you know from single-cell to metazoan for example.


    Did he really lie ? Why would he do that?

    ReplyDelete
  148. oleg:
    The built-in response theory is inconsistent with the contingent nature of observed evolution.

    The genetic accident theory is inconsistent with observations and experiences.

    If you read Lenski's article in PNAS you will learn that citrate-eating bacteria evolved in only 1 out of 12 batches taken from the frozen samples.

    So what?

    Not every bacteria needs to come up with the same solutution nor a solution.

    Only ONE individual needs to do so to keep the population going.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Eugen:
    Did he really lie ? Why would he do that?

    For one Thorton's ignorance of the theory of evolution has been exposed.

    Also lying is all evos can do.

    ReplyDelete
  150. There isn't anything in Lenski's experiment which demonstrates blind, undirected chemical processes (the proposed mechanisms of evolution) didit.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Eugen said...

    Joe looks like you know biology:


    Actually Joe G doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground when it comes to biology, or any other of the evolutionary sciences. He's a toaster repairman, er , small appliance repairman by training, hasn't been within 1000 yards of a real science lab.

    He's also a well know internet Creationist fruit-loop famous for his one line shtick "THERE'S NO EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION!!". He's been posting the same mindless drivel on C/E boards for years, when he's not threatening to meet in person and beat you up that is. Most people just ignore his raving.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Derrick said

    Things do not evolve 'from' modern animals.

    Thorton said

    No, it's the E coli from 20 years ago that was observed to undergo evolutionary...




    A bit of contradiction noticed while waiting for answers:

    Alrighty then. When you say modern e.coli does it mean there was old one? How old are original e.coli? How different are they?

    ReplyDelete
  153. Eugen said...

    Derrick said

    Things do not evolve 'from' modern animals.

    Thorton said

    No, it's the E coli from 20 years ago that was observed to undergo evolutionary...

    A bit of contradiction noticed while waiting for answers:


    No contradiction. Derick was pointing out to you the the E coli we see today was not the same creature that existed millions of years ago. You misunderstood his words.

    Alrighty then. When you say modern e.coli does it mean there was old one? How old are original e.coli? How different are they?

    Looks like the lineage goes back at least 100 million years, with significant genetic changes along the way. Of course the creatures 100 MYA aren't E Coli but just a distant relative.

    Here is a good paper tracing back the genetic markers and estimating when genetic material was added to the current E coli genome

    Molecular archaeology of the Escherichia coli genome

    Abstract: The availability of the complete sequence of Escherichia coli strain MG1655 provides the first opportunity to assess the overall impact of horizontal genetic transfer on the evolution of bacterial genomes. We found that 755 of 4,288 ORFs (547.8 kb) have been introduced into the E. coli genome in at least 234 lateral transfer events since this species diverged from the Salmonella lineage 100 million years (Myr) ago. The average age of introduced genes was 14.4 Myr, yielding a rate of transfer 16 kb/Myr/lineage since divergence. Although most of the acquired genes subsequently were deleted, the sequences that have persisted (≈18% of the current chromosome) have conferred properties permitting E. coli to explore otherwise unreachable ecological niches.

    The oldest E coli DNA sequenced comes from an ice core sample taken in China and is approx. 750,000 years old. As expected, there is noticeable genetic divergence between it and the modern strains.

    Bacterial recovery from ancient glacial ice

    Abstract: Ice that forms the bottom 18 m of a 308m ice core drilled from the Guliya ice cap on the Qinghan-Tibetan plateau in Western China is over 750 000 years old and is the oldest glacial ice known to date. Fourteen bacterial isolates have been recovered from samples of this ice from ∼296m below the surface (mbs). Based on 16S rDNA sequences, these are members of the α- and β-proteobacterial, actinobacterial and low-G +C Gram-positive bacterial lineages. 16S rDNA molecules have also been amplified directly, cloned
    and sequenced from the ice-core melt water. These originated from Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter γ-
    proteobacterial species. These results demonstrate that bacteria can be recovered from water ice that has frozen for time periods relevant to biological survival through terrestrial ice ages or during interplanetary transport.


    Ain't this science stuff neat?

    ReplyDelete
  154. Eugen: Alrighty then. When you say modern e.coli does it mean there was old one? How old are original e.coli? How different are they?

    "Species" of bacteria (in which there is genetic recombination dissociated from reproduction, as opposed to the sexual reproduction we see in eukaryotes) don't mean the same thing as species we encounter within, say animals. Further, we don't have much of a fossil record to help us with timing (but see Thorton's reference). However, based on the genetic variability of bacterial strains that we call E. coli, one research team estimated that this "species" was about 25 million years old. Reference.

    The difference between this date and the one Thorton cited is that his (100 million years) is a stem-group age (when did the ancestors of living E. coli diverge from Salmonella). The 25 million year age from my reference is a crown-group age. Separate strains of living E. coli started diversifying from each other about 25 million years ago.

    In that time the strains have diversified but have also kept in touch through recombination. There are some significant differences among the strains (they don't all make you sick).

    Don't go expecting any of them to turn into a whale any time in the future. Major misconceptions about evolution are rampant on this thread.

    Misconception #1: Blue whales evolved from Bacteria. Reality: the only part of the whale with bacterial ancestry is its mitochondria (and any mitochondrial genes transferred to the nucleus). Most nuclear DNA is derived from ancestry in the Neomura (ancestors of both eukaryotes and archeans); these were prokaryotes but not true Bacteria.

    Misconception #2: Prokaryote to blue whale transition took 1 billion years. More like 2 billion.

    Misconception #3: Because whales evolved once, we should expect them to appear a second time. That would be a violation of evolutionary theory. We might see another lineage mimicking them (like whale sharks do and pachycormid fish did).

    True multicellularity has evolved multiple times in eukaryotes, but not once in the Bacteria. Mitochondria and/or sex likely have something to do with it (especially the latter). Blue whales were a contingent result of so many chance events as well as natural selection, they would not have been a predictable result until they started to emerge.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Thorton:
    Actually Joe G doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground when it comes to biology, or any other of the evolutionary sciences.

    I know more than you do.

    He's also a well know internet Creationist fruit-loop famous for his one line shtick "THERE'S NO EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION!!".

    That is another lie.

    I have never said "there's no evidence for evolution"

    And I have never threatened anyone...

    ReplyDelete
  156. About this E. coli and citrate nonsense.

    The E. coli did NOT "evolve" a way to digest the citrate.

    Those emzymes were already present.

    All the E. coli needed was a way to get the citrate through its cellular membrane.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Why thorton is so upset with me:

    Thorton Exposes Its Ignorance Once again

    I have forgotten more about biology and evolution than thorton knows...

    ReplyDelete
  158. thorton:
    He's a toaster repairman, er , small appliance repairman by training,

    That is another lie.

    I can fix toasters and small apliances but I have never been trained to do so nor was that ever part of any job I have ever had.


    hasn't been within 1000 yards of a real science lab.

    In reality I used to work in a real science lab.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Joe G said...

    And I have never threatened anyone...


    Here are numerous personal testimonies of Joseph Gallien (Joe G) threatening physical harm to other C/E board posters, including Blipey, Hermagoras, Occam's Aftershave, slpage, among others

    There is an unconfirmed story that Joe G also got fired once for making threats from his work computer to C/E posters Robert Rapier and Jon Barkett. They complained to Joe's boss, Joe got the reprimand.

    The Joe G thread

    Keep up the good work there Toaster Guy.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Great, Thorton links to a thread of known liars.

    Yeah that helps...

    ReplyDelete
  161. How many mutations were necessary to allow E.coli to eat a new food? 1? 2? How many mutations were necessary to turn a pro-karyote into a blue whale?
    1,000,000? 1,000,000,000? 1,000,000,000,000? We have to clarify this before we can say that the same process that allows microbes to learn to eat new food can turn a microbe into a blue whale.

    And some of the mutations involved in turning a microbe into a blue whale have to happen simultaneously, not sequentially. When you change the binding site on one protein, for example, you have to change the site on the protein that it binds to, or it won't bind.

    ReplyDelete
  162. Well I asked for the info (links) about e.coli - now I'll have to read it .
    tnx

    ReplyDelete
  163. natschuster said...

    How many mutations were necessary to allow E.coli to eat a new food? 1? 2? How many mutations were necessary to turn a pro-karyote into a blue whale?
    1,000,000? 1,000,000,000? 1,000,000,000,000? We have to clarify this before we can say that the same process that allows microbes to learn to eat new food can turn a microbe into a blue whale.


    How many footsteps did Lewis and Clark make in their historic 1804-1806 trek across the North American continent? 1,000,000? 10,000,000?

    Do you need to clarify exactly how many footsteps were needed to understand that people can cross large distances by taking one step at a time? Does the fact we don't know the exact number of footsteps negate all the other evidence that the two did indeed make the long journey?

    Think Nat.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Joe G said...

    Great, Thorton links to a thread of known liars.

    Yeah that helps...


    LOL! Sure thing Toaster Guy. A couple of dozen complete strangers posting on half a dozen different C/E boards all decided to conspire together and make up the same stories about your "internet tough guy" asinine behavior.

    Maybe you should retell the story about how you are a war hero with a sooper-dooper ultra secret clearance who got wounded while single-handedly saving the world from WMD terrorists. Or maybe the one about how you discovered alien cities on Mars by looking through old NASA photos.

    I can't decide which one I like best.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Thorton:

    If it takes 1 mutation for E.coli to learn to eat citrate, and it takes 10 years for that mutation to happen, then that gives us some idea about mutation rates. If it takes 1,000,000,000 mutations to turn a bacteria into a blue whale, then given the rate of 10 years per mutation that means it would take 20,000,000,000 years. That's too long.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Sorry, typo:

    20,000,000,000 should be 10,000,000,000.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Thortard:
    A couple of dozen complete strangers posting on half a dozen different C/E boards all decided to conspire together and make up the same stories about your "internet tough guy" asinine behavior.

    Not one has any evidence to support their claims.

    Go figure.

    Maybe you should retell the story about how you are a war hero with a sooper-dooper ultra secret clearance who got wounded while single-handedly saving the world from WMD terrorists.

    I never told a story like that.

    IOW you are a liar.

    Or maybe the one about how you discovered alien cities on Mars by looking through old NASA photos.

    Not me.

    IOW thortard thinks its lying proves something.

    Strange...

    ReplyDelete
  168. natschuster wrote:

    If it takes 1 mutation for E.coli to learn to eat citrate, and it takes 10 years for that mutation to happen, then that gives us some idea about mutation rates. If it takes 1,000,000,000 mutations to turn a bacteria into a blue whale, then given the rate of 10 years per mutation that means it would take 20,000,000,000 years. That's too long.

    This calculation is incredibly naive. First, it took more than a single point mutation to evolve citrate digestion in the E. coli. If you read Lenski's PNAS article you'll learn that in the course of 30,000 generations, their bacteria have tried every single point mutation many times. So if just one point mutation were required, it would have evolved quickly. The researchers determined that a particular neutral mutation (that itself did not confer any advantage) was a necessary step on the way to citrate digestion. That mutation spread in the population by generation 20,000.

    Lenski's group further determined that once the potentiating mutation spread, another simple mutation occurred that gave the bacteria a slight advantage over their "normal cousins." After that, citrate digestion quickly improved in small steps through additional mutations.

    So the difficulty in evolving citrate digestion was the necessity of the initial mutation that, on its own, was not advantageous and therefore had a hard time spreading through the population. Once that happened, the next multiple mutations were (relatively speaking) a piece of cake. Next time you try to make an estimate take these factors into account.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Oleg:

    Your point seems to be making the problem more serious, not less so. You need 20,000 bacterial generations to get citrate digestion started. Bacteria have large populations and very high reproduction rates. And they can spread beneficial mutations through the population quickly through horizontal gene transfer. Multi-cellular organisms can't evolve at the same rate, because they don't reproduce as quickly, of in the same numbers. And they don't share genes the way bacteria do.

    And I understand that the mutations involved in citrate digestion where relatively simple. The bacteria just had to figure how to get the citrate inside its membrane. some of the mutations involved in going for bacteria to blue whale that involved things like new binding sites had to be more complex.

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  170. The bacteria just had to figure how to get the citrate inside its membrane.

    Most bacteria are slow thinkers.

    ReplyDelete
  171. natschuster: You need 20,000 bacterial generations to get citrate digestion started.

    1. In the highly variable environment of an ocean of many types of bacteria, the numbers are somewhat different.
    2. Many other adaptations occurred in Lenski's experiment in the same interval of time.
    3. There are other types of variation than simple point mutations, including recombination.
    4. Now, consider that your naïve, thumbnail calculation was within an order of magnitude of the actual two billions years.

    By your own lights, that should satisfy you that evolution is plausible.

    ReplyDelete
  172. To add to Zachriel's points, eukaryotes (including whales) have much faster mutation rates than bacteria (per base pair per generation). A factor of a thousand or more.

    ReplyDelete
  173. Joe said: "I have forgotten more about biology and evolution than thorton knows..."

    I can't argue with that, you seem to have forgotten everything about biology and evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  174. But how many mutations were needed to turn a bacteria into a blue whale? Is it a billion? A trillion? Until we can answer that question, and get some sort of idea of how long it will take, we can't honestly say that the same process that led to E.coli learning to eat new food will tunr bacteria into a blue whale.

    And some kinds of mutations must happen simultaneously. That's kind of unlikely.

    ReplyDelete
  175. natschuster,

    Here is a figure illustrating genome sizes in various organisms. A mammalian genome includes a few billion base pairs.

    You should also note that point mutations are not the only mechanism of genetic variation. Genes can be duplicated and then changed by point substitutions. This makes growing the size of a genome rather easy.

    ReplyDelete
  176. But how many mutations do you need to go from the ~10^6 base pairs in bacteria to the ~10^9.5 in mammals?

    ReplyDelete
  177. natschuster: But how many mutations do you need to go from the ~10^6 base pairs in bacteria to the ~10^9.5 in mammals?

    About fifteen genome duplications. Amoeba protea has a genome size a hundred times that of humans. So? You seem to keep positing models that have little relationship to evolutionary biology.

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  178. So the difficulty in evolving citrate digestion was the necessity of the initial mutation that, on its own, was not advantageous and therefore had a hard time spreading through the population.

    The mutation(s) only allowed the citrate through the cell membrane.

    The machinery for digesting citrate was already inside.

    ReplyDelete
  179. Derick:
    I can't argue with that, you seem to have forgotten everything about biology and evolution.

    And I still know more about it than you and thortaon put together...

    ReplyDelete
  180. oleg:
    You should also note that point mutations are not the only mechanism of genetic variation.

    True, but they are the only mutations which can be called "random".

    Again Dr Spetner went over that back in 1997...

    Genes can be duplicated and then changed by point substitutions.

    No evidence gene duplications are blind, undirected chemical processes...

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  181. Joe said "No evidence gene duplications are blind, undirected chemical processes..."

    When a volcano erupts, it is because it is angry. I know this because there is no evidence volcanos erupt due to un-emotive geological processes.

    Joe, if gene duplications aren't caused by undirected processes, what ARE they caused by?

    A question from another thread: If heritable traits aren't carried by instructions in DNA, what ARE they carried by?

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  182. Your patience is truly commendable Derick, but trying to discuss evolutionary biology with Joe G is like trying to teach tensor calculus to a potted plant.

    ReplyDelete
  183. On behalf of potted plants, I demand you retract that insult!

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  184. Thorton, that is not an apt comparison; I'm sure people have had much more success teaching the plants.

    ReplyDelete
  185. Genome duplications are not enough. We then need to change them in very specific ways.

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  186. Derick:
    Joe, if gene duplications aren't caused by undirected processes, what ARE they caused by?

    1- If you are going to say they are caused by blind, undirected chemical processes it is up to YOU to produce the evidence for it.

    2- Directed by internal programming just as spellchecker is directed-> built-in responses to environmental cues and targeted searches.



    A question from another thread: If heritable traits aren't carried by instructions in DNA, what ARE they carried by?

    You are an ass.

    I never said anything about heritable traits.

    As a matter of fact one of my references said that TRAITS are directly linked to one's DNA.

    My height, skin color, eye color, etc- my traits- do not make me a human any more than a car's wheels makes it a car.

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  187. Thorton:
    Your patience is truly commendable Derick, but trying to discuss evolutionary biology with Joe G is like trying to teach tensor calculus to a potted plant.

    Said the evotard who doesn't even understand the theory of evolution:

    Thorton Exposes Its Ignorance Once again

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  188. natschuster: Genome duplications are not enough. We then need to change them in very specific ways.

    Yes, but that wasn't your question.

    ReplyDelete
  189. Derick Childress said...

    Thorton, that is not an apt comparison; I'm sure people have had much more success teaching the plants.


    True. But unlike Joe G, the plants actually wanted to learn.

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  190. Thorton:
    Your patience is truly commendable Derick, but trying to discuss evolutionary biology with Joe G is like trying to teach tensor calculus to a potted plant.

    That must be because you two are willfully ignorant of both the theory of evolution and biology...

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  191. This comment has been removed by the author.

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