Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chickens Have Cellular Sunglasses

When light enters your eye it triggers a sequence of actions, ultimately causing a signal to be sent to your brain. Even a mere single photon can be detected in your vision system. It all starts with a photon interacting with a light-sensitive chromophore molecule. The interaction causes the chromophore to change configuration and this, in turn, influences the large, trans-membrane rhodopsin protein to which the chromophore is attached. This is just the beginning of the cellular signal transduction cascade. But before any of this begins, in some species the incoming light has already been filtered and focused.

The chromophore photoisomerization is the beginning of a remarkable cascade that causes action potentials to be triggered in the optic nerve. In response to the chromophore photoisomerization, the rhodopsin causes the activation of hundreds of transducin molecules. These, in turn, cause the activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase (by removing its inhibitory subunit), an enzyme that degrades the cyclic nucleotide, cGMP.

A single photon can result in the activation of hundreds of transducins, leading to the degradation of hundreds of thousands of cGMP molecules. cGMP molecules serve to open non selective ion channels in the membrane, so reduction in cGMP concentration serves to close these channels. This means that millions of sodium ions per second are shut out of the cell, causing a voltage change across the membrane. This hyperpolarization of the cell membrane causes a reduction in the release of neurotransmitter, the chemical that interacts with the nearby nerve cell, in the synaptic region of the cell. This reduction in neurotransmitter release ultimately causes an action potential to arise in the nerve cell.

All this because a single photon entered into the fray. In short order, this light signal is converted into a structural signal, more structural signals, a chemical concentration signal, back to a structural signal, and then back to a chemical concentration signal leading to a voltage signal which then leads back to a chemical concentration signal. There is, of course, a wealth of yet more detail which makes the information conversion process far more complicated.

Optical oil drops

And there is a seemingly endless stream of variations on this cascade. One fascinating variation is the use of special oil to filter and focus the incoming light before it ever reaches the first step of exciting the light-sensitive chromophore molecule. In chickens, for example, these brightly colored oil droplets seem to improve color discrimination as they focus the light toward the target chromophore molecules.

And these droplets are not just any kind of oil. The oil and its optical properties are finely tuned and specific to the different types of light sensitive cells. In fact the oil provides a convenient method for determining the cell type, which allowed researchers to map the optimal pattern the different cell types fall into. It is all part of what one writer called “a masterpiece of biological design.”

Evolutionists describe this as a consequence of evolutionary pressure:

Our results indicate that the evolutionary pressures that gave rise to the avian retina’s various adaptations for enhanced color discrimination also acted to fine-tune its spatial sampling of color and luminance.

Evolutionary, or selective, pressure is an internal contradiction in evolutionary thought. One can hardly blame evolutionists for their use of such action themes. It sounds better than the just-add-water account which holds that random biological variation produced nature’s marvels. But in fact there can be no such pressure in evolution’s the-world-is-a-fluke hypothesis.

The whole idea in evolutionary theory is that random mutations are, well, random. Biological variation is random with respect to need. There can be no “pressure” to produce any smart designs. And the evolutionist’s hole card, natural selection, doesn’t help. It only kills off the failures (of which there must have been a great many). Every mutation, one after the other, leading to nature’s gems such as the fine-tuned oil droplet in light sensitive cells, must have occurred for no reason. Only after they occurred could natural selection appreciate the brilliance of these random events. And that’s a fact. Religion drives science, and it matters.

128 comments:

  1. Cornelius,

    Thank you for another excellent article. Evolution is obviously bankrupt as science and is actually theodicy as you so eruditely explain.

    Conservapedia links to a humorous clip of Bob Hope comparing Democrats to unthinking zombies. I believe the comparison is more apt for evolutionists. How could any rational person believe that these finely tuned designs happened by blind chance? So please enjoy this clip substituting Democrat for evolutionist.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkmS6JrWSPU&feature=related

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cornelius Hunter:

    "The whole idea in evolutionary theory is that random mutations are, well, random."
    =====

    Most certainly this was the original old school Fundamentalist thinking and from an atheistic platform absolutely foundational to the dogma's insistance of no intelligent direction. The frustating thing continues to be to just get one of them to clearly and realistically explain and show how blind pointless undirectedness is responsible for anything intelligent and sophisticatedly complex.

    Even some among their ranks researchers like Microbiologist James Shapiro and Nuclear physicist and bioinformatician Hubert Yockey, both considered Heretics by Dawkinian standards, have formed their own separate sectarian understanding that DNA's functions are anything but random and much to the embarassment and displeasure of the faithful Evo-Fundamentalists. Unlike the extremist Evo-Jihadist fanatics, at least they both have the testosterone to admit that OOL is "Unknowable" and Unsolvable".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hunter:

    Every mutation, one after the other, leading to nature’s gems such as the fine-tuned oil droplet in light sensitive cells, must have occurred for no reason. Only after they occurred could natural selection appreciate the brilliance of these random events.

    That is correct. If a random mutation confers an advantage, organisms that bear that mutation will have a survival and reproductive advantage over those that do not bear the mutation.

    It takes only a moment to Google “evolutionary pressure,” and learn that the term is synonymous with selection pressure.

    Interesting paper in the OP, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pedant:
    If a random mutation confers an advantage, organisms that bear that mutation will have a survival and reproductive advantage over those that do not bear the mutation.

    Only if thsoe others do not have some other advantage....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Peter: How could any rational person believe that these finely tuned designs happened by blind chance?

    I agree completely with the sentiment. Thinking that these finely tuned designed happened by blind chance would be absurd to the highest degree. I'm not sure either how any person, rational or not, could possibly believe that. To me, it is more than self-evident that blind chance alone could not possibly produce simple features, let alone the well adapted traits like the one mentioned in the OP

    That's why an evolutionary process is much more plausible than positing nothing but blind chance.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Derick:
    That's why an evolutionary process is much more plausible than positing nothing but blind chance.

    That's right, evolutionary processes include magical mystery mutations and a magical ratchet!

    Face it Derick the ToE posits nothing but the "shit just happens" mechanism.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cornelius:
    The whole idea in evolutionary theory is that random mutations are, well, random.

    True, they are allegedly all genetic accidents/ mistakes/ errors, ie blind, undirected chemical processes. And our existence is a mere accident.

    However it appears the theory of evolution is devoid of content = empty. The evidence for that is found in the following avoided questions:

    1- How can we test the premise that the bacterial flagellum evolved in a population that never had one via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    2- How can we test the premise that fish evolved into land animals via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    3- How can we test the premise that reptiles evolved into mammals via an accumulation of genetic accidents?


    Those are a few of the thousands questions evos need a testable hypothesis for.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting that GAWD (Great Awesome Wonderful Designer) gave chickens better color vision than he gave humans. You'd think since we're the chosen ones GAWD would have given us at least the same ability so we could better appreciate vivid sunsets, autumn leaf colors, peacock's plumes, etc.

    Guess we're not so special after all.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cornelius: The whole idea in evolutionary theory is that random mutations are, well, random. Biological variation is random with respect to need.

    The whole idea in poker theory is that random card deals are, well, random. Card deals are random with respect to player need. (otherwise, it's known as 'cheating')

    Cornelius: There can be no “pressure” to produce any smart designs. And the evolutionist’s hole card, natural selection, doesn’t help. It only kills off the failures.

    There can be no "pressure" to produce good hands. And the gambler's 'hole card,' the ability to discard bad cards, doesn't help. It only kills off the failing hands.

    Cornelius: Every mutation, one after the other, leading to nature’s gems such as the fine-tuned oil droplet in light sensitive cells, must have occurred for no reason.

    Every random card deal, one after the other, leading to such gems as a royal flush or a full house, must have occurred for no reason.

    Cornelius: Only after they occurred could natural selection appreciate the brilliance of these random events. And that’s a fact. Religion drives science, and it matters.

    Only they occurred could player selection appreciate the 'brilliance' of these random deals. And that’s a fact. Religion drives poker, and it matters.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Derick:
    The whole idea in poker theory is that random card deals are, well, random.

    Ahh but poker requires intelligent agencies.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Comparing Evolutionary theory to a poker game? Thats a real stretch Derick. I pray you spend as much time professing your Savior as you do defending evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Darren,

    Derick doesn't have a savior.

    If you haven't noticed Derick's "defense" is nothing but to mock, but he doesn't realize tat he is mocking his position.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Interesting that GAWD (Great Awesome Wonderful Designer) gave chickens better color vision than he gave humans. You'd think since we're the chosen ones GAWD would have given us at least the same ability so we could better appreciate vivid sunsets, autumn leaf colors, peacock's plumes, etc."

    The first linked paper (and the field in general) has a interesting evolutionary hypothesis. Mammals spent a great deal of their history as nocturnal animals, and so lost the oil droplets (that have the downside of cutting some light transmission). This is supported by daytime living turtles, crocodiles, etc having them, while night living snakes, for example, lack them, and night living birds have reduced or colorless drops

    Or the designer decided we should have poorer daytime vision than our grain-feeding master hunting poultry.....

    The UV-protection afforded by the oil drops might also have been nice, in preventing the hundreds of disorders of the eye-often that affect the rods and cones.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Joe: Ahh but poker requires intelligent agencies.

    It is astonishing how bad Creationists are at analogies and metaphor.

    Cornelius's argument is that random events can't produce something useful, regardless of selection, whether that selection is intelligent or not. Of course a poker game requires intelligent agents; but according to Cornelius's logic, that wouldn't matter if the card deals are random with respect to need.

    That's his entire point. If a part of the process is truly and completely random, then the whole process is, selection or no.

    Darren: Comparing Evolutionary theory to a poker game? Thats a real stretch Derick.

    It's about as much as a stretch as saying that if a process contains truly random elements, then the whole process is random, even if there is selection.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cornelius
    "And the evolutionist’s hole card, natural selection, doesn’t help. It only kills off the failures"

    And once again you show you don't understand the most basic components of evolution. you should put down your Kant and Leibniz and look up "positive selection" sometime. Individuals with beneficial mutations can be selected for through increased reproductive success and the mutation can spread even in the absence of negative selection against those without the mutation. it's hard to take your claim that you understand evolution better than evolutionists when you continue to make statements like that.

    ReplyDelete
  16. nanobot: "it's hard to take your claim that you understand evolution better than evolutionists"

    So you "evolutionists" supposedly understand exactly how, and how many of your blessed random mutations it took to generate a complete binocular vision complex, including the cortical interface for such? Well let's have answers, please! If the number is less than many, many billions, I laugh at such an answer. If it is more than many billions, tell me how thousands (millions?) of these mutations could have been selected each year in the history of a particular species, and spread througout populations of such.

    If Darwinian theory is "science at its best" you guys have ahead of you quite a task of documenting precisely the advent of any massive functional complex. Do it and make believers out of us. Do it and we'll trust you with control of the intellectual, philosophical, and moral futures of our children.

    ReplyDelete
  17. RobertC:
    Or the designer decided we should have poorer daytime vision than our grain-feeding master hunting poultry.....

    Or it could be that our "poorer" eyesight is the result of accumulating genetic accidents, OR we have a better processing system so we don't need the same eyesight.

    I would say the designer designed flying birds to have better eyesight because of their vantage point.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Derick:
    Cornelius's argument is that random events can't produce something useful, regardless of selection, whether that selection is intelligent or not.

    Is it? I am sure he is well aware of dawkins "weasel" program in which random events are artificially selected to reach a target.

    IOW Derick methinks you are erecting a straw man, ie you don't know what you are talking about and are bearing false witness.

    ReplyDelete
  19. nonobot74:
    Individuals with beneficial mutations can be selected for...

    Umm there isn't any selecting going on. That was Darwin's nonsense. Today people know better.

    So what is wrong with you?

    Do you understand how sexual reproduction works? Do you realize there is a small chance that even the most beneficial mutation will get passed down?

    ReplyDelete
  20. "Do you realize there is a small chance that even the most beneficial mutation will get passed down?"

    which is why the offspring of smart people are usually idiots and the offspring of people with blue eyes almost never have blue eyes. get a clue, Joe.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Do you realize there is a small chance that even the most beneficial mutation will get passed down?"

    nanobot74:
    which is why the offspring of smart people are usually idiots and the offspring of people with blue eyes almost never have blue eyes.

    IOW you don't have any idea. That is what I thought.

    ReplyDelete
  22. "IOW you don't have any idea. That is what I thought."
    THanks for clearly explaining why I am wrong to think that parents resemble their offspring.

    ReplyDelete
  23. MSEE said...

    nanobot: "it's hard to take your claim that you understand evolution better than evolutionists"

    So you "evolutionists" supposedly understand exactly how, and how many of your blessed random mutations it took to generate a complete binocular vision complex, including the cortical interface for such?


    No one in science ever said we know exactly how and specifically which mutations happened in every generation. Fact is, we don't need that level of detail to understand that the process happened any more than we need the exact mass and exact timing of the Chicxulub impactor to know that the impact happened.

    Please MSEE, don't climb down into the stupid pit with the Joe Gs of the world.

    ReplyDelete
  24. nanobot74:
    THanks for clearly explaining why I am wrong to think that parents resemble their offspring.

    Except that has nothing to do with what I said.

    And that offspring tend to resemble their parents should argue against your position...

    ReplyDelete
  25. thorton:
    No one in science ever said we know exactly how and specifically which mutations happened in every generation.

    You don't have anything.

    thorton:
    Fact is, we don't need that level of detail to understand that the process happened any more than we need the exact mass and exact timing of the Chicxulub impactor to know that the impact happened.

    But you don't even have the level of evidence that chix has.

    IOW you are a liar and a poseur.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Is there any chance of not feeding the troll?

    I know it's hard not to react to such blatant idiocy, but the IQ of the entire site drops precipitously whenever you engage him.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Joe G: Is it? I am sure he is well aware of dawkins "weasel" program in which random events are artificially selected to reach a target.

    IOW Derick methinks you are erecting a straw man, ie you don't know what you are talking about and are bearing false witness.


    Nope. Cornelius said:

    Cornelius: Biological variation is random with respect to need. There can be no “pressure” to produce any smart designs.

    Cornelius is very clear about his premise. I can't accuse him of bad writing; he knows how to communicate his ideas pretty well. "There can be no selective pressure to produce smart designs if the mutations are random with respect to need." "Only after [mutations} occurred could natural selection [act]"

    If he misspoke, that's a different issue entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Cornelius:
    Biological variation is random with respect to need. There can be no “pressure” to produce any smart designs.

    That is according to the theory of evolution.

    IOW you are not understanding what he said.

    ReplyDelete
  29. denture free:
    Is there any chance of not feeding the troll?

    If you don't want to be fed then just leave and take the other evo-trolls with you.

    denture free:
    I know it's hard not to react to such blatant idiocy, but the IQ of the entire site drops precipitously whenever you engage him.

    The IQ of the entire planet is lowered by evotard existence.

    ReplyDelete
  30. thornton: "No one in science ever said we know exactly how and specifically which mutations happened in every generation. "

    In other words HUGE GAPS in your evolutionary "science". Please inform us of efforts to fill in those gaps with something other than Random Mutation Of The Gaps theory, if such efforts do exist.

    The least you could do is come forth with an educated guess as to how many random mutations it took to generate the stupendously and massively complex, binocular vision system and its neurological, vascular, cortical, and perceptual concomitants. And convince us of the basis of such an educated guess. DO IT!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Have a look at this, MSEE. DO IT!

    A PESSIMISTIC ESTIMATE OF THE TIME REQUIRED FOR AN EYE TO EVOLVE

    Nilsson & Pelgers 1994, Proc R Soc B, pp. 53-58.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "The least you could do is come forth with an educated guess as to how many random mutations it took to generate the stupendously and massively complex, binocular vision system and its neurological, vascular, cortical, and perceptual concomitants. And convince us of the basis of such an educated guess. DO IT!"

    And design escapes this problem?

    Design is a misguided observation, not a mechanism. How many different designs does it take to account for all the eyes in biology? When and how were they put in place? When and how were extinct designs extinguished? Why do biological designs utilize intermediates? Why do all placental mammals lack oil drops, even ones that could benefit from them? And convince us of the basis of such an educated guess. DO IT!

    ReplyDelete
  33. MSEE said...

    thornton: "No one in science ever said we know exactly how and specifically which mutations happened in every generation. "

    In other words HUGE GAPS in your evolutionary "science". Please inform us of efforts to fill in those gaps with something other than Random Mutation Of The Gaps theory, if such efforts do exist.


    Why do you think such a trivial piece of detail is a HUGE GAP? We don't know the exact footsteps taken by every Axis and Allied soldier on D-Day either, but that doesn't mean the Normandy landings never happened.

    The least you could do is come forth with an educated guess as to how many random mutations it took to generate the stupendously and massively complex, binocular vision system and its neurological, vascular, cortical, and perceptual concomitants. And convince us of the basis of such an educated guess. DO IT

    Er, sorry. Science doesn't need to convince you by catering to your ridiculous demands for infinite detail. Just like WW2, we have plenty of evidence it happened without having every microscopic detail. Enjoy your time in the pit with Joe G.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "nanobot74:
    THanks for clearly explaining why I am wrong to think that parents resemble their offspring.

    Joe: Except that has nothing to do with what I said."

    Let's put it in terms Joe can relate to. Downs syndrome is caused by a mutation. If someone with DS reproduces, is there really, as Joe claims, "a small chance that the mutation will be passed down"?

    ReplyDelete
  35. nanobot74-

    How many sets of chromosomes do diploid populations have?

    How many sets do each parent contribute?

    How many sets do each gamete contain?

    A mutation does not occur at the same locus on both chromosomes- if you get the mutation from your dad your mom's contribution doesn't have it.

    So if you reproduce there is a good chance that mutation you received from your dad does not get passed down- that is because of the way gametes are formed.

    The gametes that have the mutation are outnumbered by the gametes that do not.

    And even if it does get passed it has to compete with another set of chromosomes for dominance.

    ReplyDelete
  36. troy:
    A PESSIMISTIC ESTIMATE OF THE TIME REQUIRED FOR AN EYE TO EVOLVE

    Nilsson & Pelgers 1994, Proc R Soc B, pp. 53-58.


    It's evidence free troy. They don't know what mutations could possibly produce the eye/ eye-spot in a population that never had one.

    ReplyDelete
  37. RobertC:
    Design is a misguided observation, not a mechanism.

    Unfortunately for you design is a mechanism, the design inference is based on observations and experience and it can be tested and potentially falsified.

    ReplyDelete
  38. thorton:
    Science doesn't need to convince you by catering to your ridiculous demands for infinite detail.

    Your position isn't science and you don't have any positive evidence for it.

    ReplyDelete
  39. thornton: "your ridiculous demands for infinite detail"

    You mean, when I minimally ask for an educated guess at a NUMBER, and nothing about any "infinite detail" you consider this a ridiculous demand? Do you now see why we see a Ridiculous Science being defended here, one that can't even deal with a NUMBER? Even a guess at one? Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  40. MSEE said...

    thornton: "your ridiculous demands for infinite detail"

    You mean, when I minimally ask for an educated guess at a NUMBER, and nothing about any "infinite detail" you consider this a ridiculous demand? Do you now see why we see a Ridiculous Science being defended here, one that can't even deal with a NUMBER? Even a guess at one? Ha!


    OK, I'll guess 23,217, +/- 1,000,000.

    Now tell me how guessing at such a meaningless number, excuse me, NUMBER affects all the rest of the evidence we have for evolution? DO IT.

    ReplyDelete
  41. thorton,

    Your position doesn't have any evidence.

    However it appears the theory of evolution is devoid of content = empty. The evidence for that is found in the following avoided questions:

    1- How can we test the premise that the bacterial flagellum evolved in a population that never had one via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    2- How can we test the premise that fish evolved into land animals via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    3- How can we test the premise that reptiles evolved into mammals via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Those are a few of the thousands questions evos need a testable hypothesis for.

    ReplyDelete
  42. RobertC "Design is a misguided observation, not a mechanism."

    JoeG: Unfortunately for you design is a mechanism, the design inference is based on observations and experience and it can be tested and potentially falsified.

    HAH. You call it a mechanism, then refer to it as an inference in the same breath.

    So-
    1) What is the design mechanism of the Chicken Eye? When was it implemented, and in how many steps? Did it have precursors and why?

    2) How did you test the design inference in the case of the chicken eye? How could it be falsified?

    ReplyDelete
  43. "How can we test the premise that the bacterial flagellum evolved in a population that never had one via an accumulation of genetic accidents?"

    We can search for homologous proteins operating in other systems, we could see if they substitute for loss of a related flagellar component. We could even attempt directed evolution of flagellar precursors into a flagella.

    "How can we test the premise that fish evolved into land animals via an accumulation of genetic accidents?"

    We could search for an intermediate fossil in exactly the predicted time and place an intermediate would have lived.

    We could infer the genomics of the ancestor by phylogenomics of living organisms.

    And if you knew anything, you'd know a substantial amount of this work has already been accomplished.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Joe G:

    "It's evidence free troy. They don't know what mutations could possibly produce the eye/ eye-spot in a population that never had one."

    Did you read the paper? What's the last word on page 55?

    ReplyDelete
  45. RobertC:
    You call it a mechanism, then refer to it as an inference in the same breath.

    It's both.

    RobertC:
    1) What is the design mechanism of the Chicken Eye? When was it implemented, and in how many steps? Did it have precursors and why?

    Questions we will attempt to answer once ID is the accepted framework.

    Thanks for proving the design inference is not a dead end.

    RobertC:
    2) How did you test the design inference in the case of the chicken eye? How could it be falsified?

    It can be falsified just by you supporting your position.

    ReplyDelete
  46. troy:
    Did you read the paper?

    Did YOU read the paper? What page is the actual evidence on?

    ReplyDelete
  47. "How can we test the premise that the bacterial flagellum evolved in a population that never had one via an accumulation of genetic accidents?"

    RobertC:
    We can search for homologous proteins operating in other systems, we could see if they substitute for loss of a related flagellar component. We could even attempt directed evolution of flagellar precursors into a flagella.

    Unfortunately for you none of that speaks of a mechanism

    "How can we test the premise that fish evolved into land animals via an accumulation of genetic accidents?"

    RobertC:
    We could search for an intermediate fossil in exactly the predicted time and place an intermediate would have lived.

    Unfortunately for you none of that speaks of a mechanism.

    I am specifically asking you to support the mechanism.

    RobertC:
    We could infer the genomics of the ancestor by phylogenomics of living organisms.

    And if you knew anything, you'd know a substantial amount of this work has already been accomplished.


    None of it speaks about the mechanism.

    Also your last hope- evo-devo- has been a big bust.

    ReplyDelete
  48. So you lied again, Joe. I asked you an easy question: what's the last word on page 55. Since you can't answer it, you didn't read the paper, despite your claim that the paper is evidence-free.

    You're a wonderful ambassador of the ID scam. A very useful idiot indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  49. RobertC: What is the design mechanism of the Chicken Eye? When was it implemented, and in how many steps? Did it have precursors and why?

    JoeG: Questions we will attempt to answer once ID is the accepted framework.

    Ha! How do you expect to become the accepted framework with only empty promises of future work?

    Ever see the underpants gnomes episode of South Park? You're missing some steps, Joe.

    How will you attempt to answer these questions Joe?

    I've proposed how evolutionary biologists can and do answer the questions you put forth. You dismiss theses studies without analysis (perhaps for a lack of understanding). Considering you've been caught in another lie (guess you didn't read the paper Joe), I'll pass on explaining this to you. You'll just dismiss it without analysis again.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Nice desperation there troy.

    Do you want the last word under figure 2? That would be "steps".

    Otherwise it would be (Pumphrey 1961).

    Now how about that evidence you lying loser.

    ReplyDelete
  51. RobertC:
    How do you expect to become the accepted framework with only empty promises of future work?

    That is all you have - your whole position is one pomissory note after another!

    RobertC:
    I've proposed how evolutionary biologists can and do answer the questions you put forth.

    Vety laughable.

    RobertC:
    You dismiss theses studies without analysis (perhaps for a lack of understanding).

    The matzke/ Pallen paper is a joke and doesn't talk about mechanisms. They would have us believe bacteria went out shopping for the correct proteins.

    RobertC:
    Considering you've been caught in another lie

    I have yet to be caught in a lie.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Good, so you did manage to find the paper, Joe. What specific part do you disagree with, and why?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Question:

    Hunter concedes: “Clearly Darwin’s idea is mathematically tractable. That is, if fitness landscapes are relatively smooth and reasonably shaped, and if an initial population just happens to appear, and if biological variation just happens to arise and accumulate, and if populations do not resist such change, then of course species can evolve to new designs.”

    This applies to molecular evolution as well as populations. So, are fitness landscapes all too rugged (no), is there no population (life) observed, is there no source of biological variation (mutation, recombination…), do all populations fail to adapt (no), or is evolution tractable (not to mention directly observed)?

    ReplyDelete
  54. troy:
    Good, so you did manage to find the paper, Joe.

    I read it years ago- before the turn of the century even.

    troy:
    What specific part do you disagree with, and why?

    It's evidence free. Nothing about what genes were mutated, when they were mutated and what change the mutation had.

    Not one thing that is testable.

    IOW I can see why you would like the paper.

    ReplyDelete
  55. nanobot74:

    ===
    "And the evolutionist’s hole card, natural selection, doesn’t help. It only kills off the failures"

    And once again you show you don't understand the most basic components of evolution. you should put down your Kant and Leibniz and look up "positive selection" sometime. Individuals with beneficial mutations can be selected for through increased reproductive success and the mutation can spread even in the absence of negative selection against those without the mutation. it's hard to take your claim that you understand evolution better than evolutionists when you continue to make statements like that.
    ===

    No, I'm not the one who can't be taken seriously. Evolutionary theory calls for blind mechanisms for biological variation, no matter how much evolutionists employ euphemisms to the contrary. Natural selection *cannot* influence the variation. It cannot induce favorable mutations. The positive selection example you raise does nothing to change this, as you suggest.

    Evolutionists cannot even coherently work with their own theory. They insist their unworkable thesis is a fact, and then smuggle in different ideas to describe how it works.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I asked,"If someone with Down's Syndrome reproduces, is there really, as Joe claims, "a small chance that the mutation will be passed down"?

    Joe responded with a bunch of basic biology questions.

    It's a simple question Joe. What do you think the odds are of the offspring of a DS mother and non-DS father having DS? Hint: it's higher than a small chance. And that's not even a beneficial mutation.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Cornelius,
    "Natural selection *cannot* influence the variation." Not true. For example, the increased variation provided by sexual reproduction is hypothesized (supported by experimental tests) to have been selected for.

    "The positive selection example you raise does nothing to change this, as you suggest."

    I didn't suggest that. I suggested that you're extremely ignorant of the field you so vehemently criticize, as you have shown yet again in the above.

    ReplyDelete
  58. MSEE,
    "You mean, when I minimally ask for an educated guess at a NUMBER, and nothing about any "infinite detail" you consider this a ridiculous demand? Do you now see why we see a Ridiculous Science being defended here, one that can't even deal with a NUMBER? Even a guess at one? Ha! "

    WHat are the odds of your being born? Taking into account all the unlikely things that had to happen, from the sperm containing half of your exact genotype meeting an egg containing the other exact half, to your parents meeting, to their grandparents meeting and so on. can you give me an exact probability?

    ReplyDelete
  59. nanobot74:
    I asked,"If someone with Down's Syndrome reproduces, is there really, as Joe claims, "a small chance that the mutation will be passed down"?

    Joe responded with a bunch of basic biology questions.


    Yes because they help prove my point.

    OTOH your question doesn't address my claim.

    nanobot74:
    What do you think the odds are of the offspring of a DS mother and non-DS father having DS?

    What are the odds of such a pairing?

    ReplyDelete
  60. Cornelius Hunter said...

    No, I'm not the one who can't be taken seriously. Evolutionary theory calls for blind mechanisms for biological variation, no matter how much evolutionists employ euphemisms to the contrary. Natural selection *cannot* influence the variation. It cannot induce favorable mutations. The positive selection example you raise does nothing to change this, as you suggest.


    Selection doesn't induce favorable mutations, but it does cause those favorable ones to accumulate over generations, the net result of which is biological variation.

    It's quite dishonest of you to equivocate over the genetic variation in any *one* generation with the overall biological variation that happens over *many* generations. Quite dishonest, but not at all unexpected given your track record.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Joe, the paper isn't evidence-free at all. It's a general model of eye evolution based on quantitative genetics and developmental biology, using empirical estimates to quantify parameters of the model. It's not intended to specify the precise steps of one particular evolutionary history of eye evolution. Eyes have evolved many times independently.

    Do you have a problem with anything the paper does say, rather than what it doesn't say?

    ReplyDelete
  62. nanobot74,

    It is said that about 1/2 of the offspring- those that survive- of someone with down syndrome will have the disorder. But that is only considering the survivors.

    Men with DS seem to be infertile.

    Not quite what evolution needs...

    ReplyDelete
  63. troy:
    Joe, the paper isn't evidence-free at all.

    Yes it is- and I said why.

    You ae just ignoring what i post.

    troy:
    It's a general model of eye evolution based on quantitative genetics and developmental biology,

    It's not based on genetics nor developmental biology.

    troy:
    Eyes have evolved many times independently.

    That is what you say however you don't have any evidence for that claim.

    troy:
    Do you have a problem with anything the paper does say, rather than what it doesn't say?

    It doesn't make any scientific claims. Not only that it has been refuted.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Joe,

    "Not quite what evolution needs..."

    50% transmission of a mutation is more than what evolution needs. remember, this is not a beneficial mutation and has negative effects on fertility, yet the probability of transmission is quite high.. beneficial mutations should (and do) do much better.

    ReplyDelete
  65. thorton:
    Selection doesn't induce favorable mutations, but it does cause those favorable ones to accumulate over generations, the net result of which is biological variation.

    You can have variation in one generation. Favorable mutations are relative- what is favorable to one generation is not necessarily favorable to the next.

    And there still isn't any evidence that those accidents can accumulate in such a way as to give rise to new protein machinery, new body parts and new body plans.

    ReplyDelete
  66. nanobot74:
    50% transmission of a mutation is more than what evolution needs.

    It ain't 50%. And without the help of non-DS people it wouldn't be that high.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "It ain't 50%. And without the help of non-DS people it wouldn't be that high. "

    despite the data in front of you saying that it is. perhaps you're arguing that because a lot of offspring died, the transmission rate is inflated. However, transmission rates of ALL mutations are calculated only from the # of survivors. So your point is irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
  68. In the interest of maintaining the level of discourse that has proliferated of late, I cannot in good conscience refrain from making the following comment:

    Heh heh. You said do do.

    ReplyDelete
  69. "no matter how much evolutionists employ euphemisms to the contrary. Natural selection *cannot* influence the variation"

    Why is that a problem?

    Mutation generates variation which passes through the filter of selection. Natural selection doesn't influence variation, it acts on it.

    What you appear to be saying is 'A cattle breeder can't select cows for breeding with higher milk yeilds unless mutation knows that higher milk yeilds are required?'

    If so then you have fundamentally misunderstood the mechanism!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Joe G: So if you reproduce there is a good chance that mutation you received from your dad does not get passed down- that is because of the way gametes are formed.

    That's right. They don't always get passed down. If the mutation is a selective benefit, the the chance of fixation is 2hs, where s is the selection coefficient with 1/4Ne << s << 1, h is the dominance coefficient, and Ne is the effective population size.

    ReplyDelete
  71. "No, I'm not the one who can't be taken seriously. Evolutionary theory calls for blind mechanisms for biological variation, no matter how much evolutionists employ euphemisms to the contrary. Natural selection *cannot* influence the variation. It cannot induce favorable mutations."

    Does a player need to 'influence' the numbers to win the lottery?

    And how many examples from how many fields do you need before giving up this argument? Yes, the variation is random with respect to need. No, the products of selection aren't useless with respect to the selection.

    Examples: HIV drug resistance, The immune system, Genetic algorithms, Directed evolution, Dozens of examples of experimental evolution, Many examples of natural evolution.

    http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoMutations.html
    http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoHumBenMutations.html

    ReplyDelete
  72. Cornelius says:"Evolutionary theory calls for blind mechanisms for biological variation, no matter how much evolutionists employ euphemisms to the contrary. Natural selection *cannot* influence the variation. It cannot induce favorable mutations. The positive selection example you raise does nothing to change this, as you suggest."

    Who would disagree? But I fail to see where there is a problem for evolutionary theory in what you write here. This was Darwin's insight. Variation exists without repect to need, and selection acts upon that variation.

    Because variation is independent of need, and much of it is neutral or nearly neutral, we might expect that there should be a lot of variation before there is much scope for positive selection. And of course we know natural populations do harbour substantial variation - hence the rapid success of artificial selection in breeds of dogs and crops and farm animals.

    If there is a lot of variation it becomes increasingly probable that some of it will be beneficial (i.e. draws from the distribution of fitness effects of new mutations with +ve coefficients). To put that another way and refocus the problem, as population sizes increase it becomes increasingly UNLIKELY that there will be no beneficial mutations. This is elementary statistics. Clearly there is no need for direction in variation before positive selection can occur. In fact, direction would itself reduce the importance of selection.

    Which leaves selection. Selection is the filter, the simple and brutal filter that makes 'sense' of it all, ultimately providing the direction to evolutionary trajectories. The deleterious traits have reduced chance of transmission, the beneficial traits are promoted. Evolution is a fact because these things are the inevitable of imperfect reproduction.

    So where is the problem?

    ReplyDelete
  73. How many mutations does it take to make a the special mechanisms in a chicken's eye? And jhow many, if any will confer some sort of benefit before the entire mechanism is complete? Don't these questions have to be answered before we can say that they evolved?

    ReplyDelete
  74. natschuster said...

    How many mutations does it take to make a the special mechanisms in a chicken's eye? And jhow many, if any will confer some sort of benefit before the entire mechanism is complete? Don't these questions have to be answered before we can say that they evolved?


    No, as has been explained to you ad nauseum

    ReplyDelete
  75. Thorton:

    Why not? IF it requires a whole lot of mutations, then maybe there wasn't enough time. Or maybe some of the mutations that occur along the way are harmfull. They only benefot the chicken once they are all in place.

    Evolutionists are saying that this can be explained by purely naturalistic processess and the known laws of nature. But doesn't all this reuire that the math be clarified?

    ReplyDelete
  76. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    Why not? IF it requires a whole lot of mutations, then maybe there wasn't enough time.


    Estimates are that our modern eyes could have evolved in as little as 300,000 generations. The earliest creatures with eyes are over 500 million years old. That's enough time.

    Or maybe some of the mutations that occur along the way are harmfull.

    Some were harmful. They got weeded out by selection, and only the beneficial ones accumulated.

    They only benefot the chicken once they are all in place.

    Please, not the 'what good is half an eye' nonsense. During early evolution eyes weren't 'missing parts' and therefore useless. Early eyes were still fully formed but with less capability of modern eyes. An early proto-eye with 1% vision is better than none. An eye with 2% vision capability gives an advantage over 1%.

    You don't need to know every detailed step of the evolutionary pathway for the same reason you don't need to know every last of your ancestors for the last 2000 years to know that they existed and you were the result.

    Such level of detail would be nice but it is not necessary for the conclusion.

    Seriously though nat, we've been over this multiple times. You're one of the nicer Creationists here, but your constant habit of ignoring the answers to your questions is starting to wear thin.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Darwin and evolutionists until recently saw a gap the size of a ditch in understanding how evolution occured.

    They plopped down a small bridge and confidently crossed and proclaimed their victory settled and secured. Expecting lush valleys of confirmation to abound on the other side, they celebrated.

    As the fog and shadows cleared with the coming rays of light they peered with horror, not upon the lush valleys of confirmation but upon the sight of their toes overstepping the edge of a cliff a mile deep and ten miles wide.

    "I am fearfully and wonderfully made"
    - King David, 1000 B.C.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Paul:

    ===
    Who would disagree? But I fail to see where there is a problem for evolutionary theory in what you write here.
    ===

    This issue at hand here is evolutionary euphemism. What you are addressing in your comment is the problem of likelihood. Yes, if there is no substantial problem of likelihood and evolution creating the world is a reasonably plausible notion, then who cares about evolutionary euphemism. But the likelihood issue, in spite of what you suggest, has not been resolved. The likelihood issue has at least two parts.

    First, we need to show that reasonably smooth evolutionary pathways exist, such that gradual biological variation can get you from a warm little pond (or ocean vent, or ...) to humans, and everything in between. Or, short of that, if there are discontinuities then we need to show that macromutations can come to the rescue. Nothing even close to this has been demonstrated.

    Second, even if such smooth pathways exist, we need to show evolution will find them. That is, random biological variation, such as from mutations, in less than a few billion years, can move you along the path. Selection does *not* assist this problem. At each point along the path, you need a new mutation(s) to move to one of the next steps. Every new mutation needed to move from the fish to the giraffe had to happen on its own, with no outside help. Again, nothing even close to that has been demonstrated to be likely.

    And yet we are told evolution is an undeniable fact.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Second, even if such smooth pathways exist, we need to show evolution will find them. That is, random biological variation, such as from mutations, in less than a few billion years, can move you along the path. Selection does *not* assist this problem. At each point along the path, you need a new mutation(s) to move to one of the next steps. Every new mutation needed to move from the fish to the giraffe had to happen on its own, with no outside help. Again, nothing even close to that has been demonstrated to be likely.

    This is utter nonsense. We know variation exists, random mutations happen - this is observed. By definition variant organisms exist in different parts of any fitness landscape.

    If you remove selection all together - so all organisms have an equal chance of reproducing, you still get movement across a fitness landscape - although calling it a fitness landscape becomes a little meaningless as fitness is primarily defined by reproductive success.

    Without selection you have a morphology / behaviour landscape and descent with modification leads to movement across this landscape. Selection just biases reproductive success and effectively defines which way is 'up' in the landscape.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Bill Bigge:

    "This is utter nonsense."
    =====

    This is humorous coming from a guy who believes "nonsense" is the only driver behind the evolution of life.
    -----

    Bill Bigge:

    "We know variation exists, random mutations happen - this is observed."
    =====

    Given what science is researching and exposing every day with regards the information driven molecular machinery and it's purpose to survive and adapt, exactly how do you know what is going on is in any way random and not goal driven to survive ???

    True randomness away from the original program is nothing more than sickness, tumors, cancer, death and extinctions. Tho considering the idiology and philosophy involved with regards this dogma I can certainly understand the need to spin it that way.
    ------

    Bill Bigge:

    "By definition variant organisms exist in different parts of any fitness landscape."
    =====

    You mean like the theory of evolution itself adapting to data like a fog adapts to landscape ???

    Don't you just love the way Walter expresses things ???

    ReplyDelete
  81. Bill, I'm with Eocene on this one. It seems as if your experiments aren't taking into account the idea of immaterial information. Being that you are conducting the experiments, it is up to you to devise a way to test for the presence and effect of information in your research.

    However, in his haste, he forgot to mention that in addition to information, there is another property essential to intelligence and life in general, and it is called blorptogoplast. Blorptogoplast, in addition to 'information' is essential to understanding how the complex nanomachine smart complex nanomachines that make up life arose and operate.

    I Insist that you start taking blorptogoplast into account in your future research. Being an atheistic materialist (I assume; I mean you do accept common ancestry) you may try to say something nonsensical like "I've never heard of blorptogoplast; will you tell me how can I test for it?"

    Well, Mr. Materialist, since you don't believe blorptogoplast exists independently of matter, it is up to you to prove it doesn't exist!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Blorptogoplast - pfui! He needs to account for √Član vital.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Nonsense - blorptogoplast is a pseudiscientific fiction, the real issue - the elephant in the room - are Tagliatellions which interact with matter in a way that is impossible to observe, predict or measure - but do most certainly exist!

    ReplyDelete
  84. nanomachines

    Did somebody say nanomachines?

    ReplyDelete
  85. C'mon guys, get with the program.

    It's not ordinary everyday blorptogoplast he has to account for. It's functional complex specified blorptogoplast. FCSB for short.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Thorton, if you want to get technical about it, it's digital functional complex specified blorptogoplast: DFCSB.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Richard Dawkins talking to his followers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYhf3_9BgDE

    ReplyDelete
  88. thornton: "OK, I'll guess 23,217, +/- 1,000,000.

    Now tell me how guessing at such a meaningless number, excuse me, NUMBER affects all the rest of the evidence we have for evolution? DO IT."

    Thanks for the flippant answer, it says much. Thanks for corroborating that numbers are meaningless to you guys pushing this so highly rigorous science. Great. Just so folks can maybe consider:

    1. Darwinian evolution is concerned with this phenomenon which it identifies as a random mutation. Logic says that these events can be enumerated, as with the set of integers.

    2. Physics not only has identified particles named protons, but actually goes to the trouble of enumerating them when useful. Even to the extent that there is unanimous agreement as to HOW MANY PROTONS EXIST.

    3. Even the social sciences, hardly the paragons of rigor, find a great many uses for enumeration.

    3. So in contradistinction to the rigorous science of physics, and the more heuristic social sciences, we have the foregoing behaviour of this person when asked to enumerate events which are at the core of their "science"; specifically: enumerate for us the random mutations that you postulate have taken place, which have been "selected" to build the vision complex in the human species.

    All this person can do is respond flippantly, no joke on my part. I tell you what: I now postulate at minimum TRILLIONS of the postulated random mutations would be required. Now refute it, someone.

    ReplyDelete
  89. troy: "Have a look at this, MSEE. DO IT!"

    Well I would do it if had it here. Problem seems to be that I asked for an estimate of number of random mutations required for all of the systems involved in vision to evolve in concert or in sequence. Systems including sensory, metabolic, optical, motor, vascular, neural, cortical, perceptual, and whatever others I may be omitting. I myself just postulated trillions. I'm open to refutation.

    ReplyDelete
  90. MSEE:

    "Even to the extent that there is unanimous agreement as to HOW MANY PROTONS EXIST."

    Bwahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  91. MSEE said...

    All this person can do is respond flippantly, no joke on my part. I tell you what: I now postulate at minimum TRILLIONS of the postulated random mutations would be required. Now refute it, someone.


    A dumb meaningless question deserves a flippant answer.

    OK, let's say a trillion it is. Again I'll ask: tell me how guessing at such a meaningless number, excuse me, NUMBER affects all the rest of the evidence we have for evolution?

    ReplyDelete
  92. I'll try my hand at MSEE logic:

    Meteorology is concerned with this phenomenon which it identifies as "rain". Logic says that these "raindrops" can be enumerated, as with the set of integers.

    So in contradistinction to the rigorous science of physics, and the more heuristic social sciences, we have the foregoing behaviour of these meteorologists when asked to enumerate events which are at the core of their "science"; specifically: enumerate for us the number of "raindrops" that they postulate have "fallen" since the formation of the planet to build the oceans and rivers on the Earth.

    Failure to provide this answer is proof that this so called "rain" is just a meteorologists' fairy tale.

    Don't you agree MSEE?

    ReplyDelete
  93. MSEE:

    "Well I would do it if had it here. Problem seems to be that I asked for an estimate of number of random mutations required for all of the systems involved in vision to evolve in concert or in sequence. Systems including sensory, metabolic, optical, motor, vascular, neural, cortical, perceptual, and whatever others I may be omitting. I myself just postulated trillions. I'm open to refutation. "

    In science point estimates, such as an estimated number of mutations, are usually accompanied by an estimate of the degree of uncertainty in the point estimate. Like mean plus or minus a standard error of the mean, or a confidence interval around the mean, or a Bayesian posterior distribution.

    You failed to do that, so there's no way of knowing whether an alternative estimate differs significantly from your vague estimate of trillions. So provide some quantitative estimates of the bounds on your estimate, and we might be able to make some progress.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Cornelius said:"Second, even if such smooth pathways exist, we need to show evolution will find them. That is, random biological variation, such as from mutations, in less than a few billion years, can move you along the path. Selection does *not* assist this problem. At each point along the path, you need a new mutation(s) to move to one of the next steps. Every new mutation needed to move from the fish to the giraffe had to happen on its own, with no outside help. Again, nothing even close to that has been demonstrated to be likely."

    Thanks for responding.

    One point I would make is that we also need to be careful about what we assume to be neccesary.The transitions from fish to giraffe, e.g., must be possible but should not be assumed to be necessary for evolutionary theory to be true.

    I hope this distinction is clear. Under a theory of undirected evolution, it is likely that, given the circumstances of flourishing opportunities in the terrestrial environment, some form of life was likely in the long-run to capitalise on these untapped resources. But there is no reason to believe that mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians are the necessary descendents of the fish ancestors that began that transition.

    In other words, if we assume that the precise mutations that have resulted in the life we see around us are necessary (we could say pre-specified), then we underestimate the likelihood of evolution enormously. This would be a fallacy.

    In the same way, when we look at the eye - or all the different eyes in different taxa - we might conclude that the evolution of some sort of vision system, some sort of way of utilising light, was likely/possible, but not at all that the particular eyes that we see were inevitable.

    So - yes - the existence of pathways to evolve an ancestral fish into a giraffe are indeed necessary for current evolutionary theory to be a potentially correct explanation for life's diversity. However, the actual occurrence of a giraffe (again, e.g.) remains almost certainly an extremely unlikely event, in the same way that a prespecified individual is extremely unlikely to win the lottery. However, that something happens - i.e. that someone wins the lottery - is a much more likely event, one that becomes effectively inevitable with time.

    I hope we agree on these basic premises.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Thorton:

    What did our modern eyes evolve from? How many mutations were involved? If the mechanism is mutations, then we need to know how many. And if the bad mutations were weeded out, then they ight take some of the good mutations with them.

    And I'm not talking about eyes. I'm talking about the special oil drop thingies in chicken eyes, than Dr. Hunter posted about. How many mutations were needed? And what effect did they have beneficial, harmful, or neutral, did they have on the chicken before the mechanism was in place.

    ReplyDelete
  96. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    What did our modern eyes evolve from?


    Earlier, simpler eyes.

    How many mutations were involved?

    All of them.

    If the mechanism is mutations, then we need to know how many.

    No, we don't.


    And if the bad mutations were weeded out, then they ight take some of the good mutations with them.

    Then those 'good' ones weren't good enough, were they.

    And I'm not talking about eyes. I'm talking about the special oil drop thingies in chicken eyes, than Dr. Hunter posted about. How many mutations were needed?

    All of them

    And what effect did they have beneficial, harmful, or neutral, did they have on the chicken before the mechanism was in place.

    Yes.

    If you're going to keep asking the same already answered questions, you're going to get the replies you deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Thorton:

    What answers did I get? I sked how many mutations does it take to make the special things in the chicken's eyes. What number did I get?

    And what was the answer to the question about want effect ech mutation had? I don't recall the answer. Be so kind as to refresh my memory.

    ReplyDelete
  98. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    What answers did I get? I sked how many mutations does it take to make the special things in the chicken's eyes. What number did I get?


    All of them.

    And what was the answer to the question about want effect ech mutation had? I don't recall the answer. Be so kind as to refresh my memory.

    Yes.

    If you keep asking the same stupid questions when you've had it explained to you multiple times why they are stupid, you're going to get the replies you deserve too.

    ReplyDelete
  99. What you are asking is equavalent to asking that science explain how many water molecules were required to erode the grand canyon, and in which way each molecule directly contributed to what we see today.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Bill Bigge:

    "What you are asking is equavalent to asking that science explain how many water molecules were required to erode the grand canyon, and in which way each molecule directly contributed to what we see today."
    =====

    This should be a peach of a task for you since you've got the uncanny ability of a Wiccan to deipher and translate all that deep encrypted information off those water molecules and come up with a materialistic satisfying and entertaining myth so all the masses will be content in their ignorant bliss.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Derick Childress:

    "Well, Mr. Materialist, since you don't believe blorptogoplast exists independently of matter, it is up to you to prove it doesn't exist!"
    ======

    Rather than continue down yet another deadend road of smarta§§isms, why don't you just explain to your "Safety in Numbers Gang" (Atheist Friends) what you meant by this comment back in July 2010 ??? You never actually ever explain anything specifically but as true to your nature use the usual vague terms. Of couse this is not unusual, since by nature most soap box shouting Theistic Evolutionists never do:

    "I believe that Jesus was the messiah, son of God and that he was crucified and raised from the dead and that we are all here by the intention of God and through his providence; yet I also accept that the theory of evolution as commonly understood as natural selection acting on heritable variation is a fairly accurate description of the process that God used to bring us about."
    ======

    So you believe the human Jesus whom other humans killed to be your god ??? You claim that evolutionary processes were used by your god Jesus Christ to bring life about. Yet rather than any specific detailed proofs, you offer only vague generalities so as not to offend your brothers here (or to avoid incurring their vicious sarcasm and wrath). Could you now more boldly be more specific and detailed about how your god Jesus Christ was the one responsible for the encryption of evolutionary informational code into that first original RNA/DNA primitive lifeform and then sat back and just let chaos to take over ???

    Help out all the Agent Mulders out there who "Just Want To Believe" !!!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Thorton:

    Any educator will tell you there is always a learning curve. And some people take longer than others to learn. It looks like when it comes to understanding evolution, I'm on the low end of the bell curve. So please be patient with me and tell me again.

    ReplyDelete
  103. natschuster: So please be patient with me and tell me again.

    We can observe natural variation, and sources of novel variation. We can observe evolution, including natural selection. The fossil record and the nested hierarchy provide the context for evolutionary changes for much of biological history. We have past and contemporary examples of adaptation, including incremental and selectable evolution of irreduble structures (e.g. mammalian middle ear). We can show that observed rates of evolution are faster, much faster, than required to explain the historical record.

    ReplyDelete
  104. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    Any educator will tell you there is always a learning curve. And some people take longer than others to learn. It looks like when it comes to understanding evolution, I'm on the low end of the bell curve. So please be patient with me and tell me again.


    Alright. The reason demanding to see a detailed list of the actual mutations that created something like the avian eye makes no sense is

    1. DNA doesn't fossilize, and there is no way to accurately recover that level of detail just from examining today's living creatures. The original process happened over millions of years and involved random genetic changes and unknown selection pressures we don't have enough information to reconstruct.

    The best we can do is examine existing and related simpler eye structures, protein families like opsins, PAX genes, etc. and come up with plausible developmental pathways. Indeed, that has been done. Here is one early study.

    A Pessimistic Estimate of the Time Required for an Eye to Evolve

    Newer research has flushed out even more details, but not to the level of counting individual mutations.

    2. Knowing the exact number of mutations doesn't affect the rest of the evidence for evolution. Sure it would be nice to know that level of detail, but it's not necessary. The demand is like claiming that we need to know the exact number of combined footsteps taken by all the soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil war, or else the war never happened.

    Apologies for being short with you. I sometimes get tired of dealing with nonstop nonsense from so many disingenuous YECs. I'll try not to lump you with them.

    ReplyDelete
  105. troy: ". So provide some quantitative estimates of the bounds on your estimate, and we might be able to make some progress. "

    No thanks. My estimate is absolutely non-scientific. Until someone here has offered a number and backing for it I'm going to assume that there is no scientific way to provide a number for what I ask. Until then I'm assuming this question is either outside of science or based on a phony "scientific" proposition in the first place. No secret what I believe is the phony proposition. And so until then I would believe that any refutation of my estimate would be as non-scientific as is my estimate.

    ReplyDelete
  106. thornton: "So in contradistinction to the rigorous science of physics, and the more heuristic social sciences, we have the foregoing behaviour of these meteorologists when asked to enumerate events which are at the core of their "science"; specifically: enumerate for us the number of "raindrops" that they postulate have "fallen" since the formation of the planet to build the oceans and rivers on the Earth."

    I wasn't aware that rain built the oceans. And to think it useful to estimate the number of raindrops is ridiculous. How would you define a raindrop? What properties would you use to define such? How many molecules would constitute a raindrop in your definition? And can you think of any scientific dogma that depends on the definition of raindrop?

    In contrast to the above, you guys have been to great lengths to define a random mutation as being central to your dogma. The number of mutations required to build the binocular vision complex would seem to be extremely useful, unlike your raindrop analogy. This should be obvious. For one thing it would show you guys know what you are talking about and that there are enough years available in history to have allowed for these proposed random mutations to accumulate and spread throughout populations.


    Lastly I hate to break it to you but an investigator could break up all of the rainfall falling on a continent into small uniform units representing a defined "raindrop". Said researcher could easily determine the total rainfall by performing a surface integration on the yearly rainfall contour map of that continent. You can learn about surface integrals in Wikipedia. Do this for every contininent and island and it would be straightforward to calculate the number of unit "raindrops" falling on the total land mass of the planet for the year. A highly useless endeavor nonetheless.

    I would say nice try, but it was rather not so.

    ReplyDelete
  107. thornton: "I sometimes get tired of dealing with nonstop nonsense from so many disingenuous YECs. I'll try not to lump you with them."

    Thornton gets so tired because of the irresistable urge to return again and again to debate those considered to be misleading doofuses on this blog. Seems like nonstop nonsense is something to which thornton is addicted. As for me I think thornton feels against the wall and fighting for a losing paradigm.

    ReplyDelete
  108. MSEE said...

    I wasn't aware that rain built the oceans.


    You seem to be blissfully unaware of most all scientific phemonena.

    How did the Oceans form?

    4 billion years ago, the Earth could be described as a very large, hot rock without a trace of water on its surface. Water on the young Earth came from two sources, outgassing from within the Earth and bombardment by comets. Outgassing is the process whereby gases are released from molten rock in the mantle of the planet by volcanic activity. This was probably the primary source of gases for the early atmosphere. Comets and meterorites also bring with them gases which contributed to the Earth's atmosphere.

    Some of the gases in the new atmosphere were methane (CH3), ammonia (NH3), water vapor (H2O), and carbon dioxide (CO2). The water on Earth stayed in gaseous form until the planet's surface cooled below 100 degrees Celsius. At this time, 3.8 billion years ago, water condensed into rain and poured onto the land. Water collected in low lying areas which gradually became the primitive oceans.


    The number of mutations required to build the binocular vision complex would seem to be extremely useful, unlike your raindrop analogy. This should be obvious.

    Useful to know doesn't mean necessary to know. That should be obvious to anyone with the slightest scientific background, which seems to exclude you.

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  109. MSEE said...

    thornton: "I sometimes get tired of dealing with nonstop nonsense from so many disingenuous YECs. I'll try not to lump you with them."

    Thornton gets so tired because of the irresistable urge to return again and again to debate those considered to be misleading doofuses on this blog. Seems like nonstop nonsense is something to which thornton is addicted. As for me I think thornton feels against the wall and fighting for a losing paradigm.


    No MSEE, I return to the engage clueless boob Creationists because I feel scientific literacy is critically important to the future well being of my country. If I can get even one lurker to think critically and investigate for him/herself instead of just blindly swallowing YEC anti-science garbage, then I have helped the cause. Think globally, act locally.

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  110. Thorton:

    I'm sorry, but I feel it is important to determine, or at least estimate, the number of mutations necessary to bring about an adaptation. If the number of mutations required is too great, then it isn't a plausible explanation. And the article you linked, unless I am very much mistaken, does not discuss mutations. But mutations are the mechanism that cause change. And we have to know what, if any, selective advantage the mutations have before the adaptation in question is actually complete. This is because step 2 in evolution is natural selection. IMHO, these questions have to be dealt with before we can say evolution did it. I don't find the response, "trust us, the evidence is there" to be intellectually satisfying.

    And I'm actually an agnostic when it come to the age of the Earth.

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  111. The damn board is eating posts again.

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  112. natschuster said...

    Thorton:

    I'm sorry, but I feel it is important to determine, or at least estimate, the number of mutations necessary to bring about an adaptation. If the number of mutations required is too great, then it isn't a plausible explanation. And the article you linked, unless I am very much mistaken, does not discuss mutations. But mutations are the mechanism that cause change. And we have to know what, if any, selective advantage the mutations have before the adaptation in question is actually complete. This is because step 2 in evolution is natural selection. IMHO, these questions have to be dealt with before we can say evolution did it.


    Why on Earth do you keep harping about the number of mutations? What difference would it make if it was 10 or 10 million? That wouldn’t change the fact one iota that we still have an abundant amount of other positive evidence for evolution.

    Scientists aren’t interested in spending energy looking for a meaningless (and probably impossible to determine accurately) number that would just be a colossal waste of time and resources. If you feel it is that important, nothing is stopping you or any creationist from getting an education and pursuing such research yourself.

    I don't find the response, "trust us, the evidence is there" to be intellectually satisfying.

    Not a single person I know of has said that to you here. If you have been reading these threads at all you’ve seen quite a bit of evidence presented. I know for a fact this link to an overview of the evidence has been presented multiple times.

    Evidence for Macroevolution

    God is suppose to help those who help themselves. So what have you been doing to help yourself learn about the actual theory and evidence? There are tons of good reference sites online, like this one from the U. California-Berkeley

    Understanding Evolution

    Have you read anything besides Creationist anti-science websites? Any books? Taken any classes? I’m willing and able to help explain things if you get stuck, but you’re not going to get spoon fed. The only way you’ll really learn is to do the work yourself.

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  113. natschuster:

    "And I'm actually an agnostic when it come to the age of the Earth. "

    Please explain why the evidence for a 4.5 billion year old earth is equally (un)convincing as the "evidence" for a 6000 year old earth.

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  114. natschuster: I'm sorry, but I feel it is important to determine, or at least estimate, the number of mutations necessary to bring about an adaptation.

    nat, if it rained last night, would you have to know the exact (or even approximate) number of raindrops that fell in order to safely conclude that precipitation had occurred? Is it necessary to know when and where each drop hit, or is a consistent amount of rainwater in each rain gauge enough to determined if it rained, and how much?

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  115. natschuster: And I'm actually an agnostic when it come to the age of the Earth.

    You say that as if it gains you some points from not being a YEC. I don't give any credit to someone who says "I'm actually an agnostic when it comes to whether or not the earth orbits the sun or if it's the other way around."

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  116. DC:

    If there was one raindrop, then that means it rained. I don't need to see evidence of more than one.

    If someone claimed that he made an optical device as complex as the thin in the chicken's eye through a process of random change, I would ask him to show me.

    I afraid that whether you give me credit or not does not make a whole lot of difference to me.

    And, according the General Relavity, Earth orbting the Sun is equivalent to the Sun orbiting the Earth.

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  117. Thorton:

    If it takes 10 mutations to make the thingy in the chicken eye, then it is a possibility. But if it takes 10,000,000 mutations and there is a mutation rate of one per year, and chickens have not been around for ten million years, then this process won't work. I know I'm just making up the numbers, but I think these things have to be clarified. That's why I'm asking.

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  118. natschuster And, according the General Relavity, Earth orbting the Sun is equivalent to the Sun orbiting the Earth.

    BZZZZZZZZT! Wrong.

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  119. natschuster: But if it takes 10,000,000 mutations and there is a mutation rate of one per year, and chickens have not been around for ten million years, then this process won't work.

    You're in luck! There are billions and billions of chickens, and each one has about a hundred mutations. That's trillions upon trillions of mutations every year! Their genome is only about a billion bases. That means every single base is mutated every single generation. And that's ignoring other forms of genomic variation.

    Not that that has much to do with understanding evolution.

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  120. natschuster: If it takes 10 mutations to make the thingy in the chicken eye, then it is a possibility. But if it takes 10,000,000 mutations and there is a mutation rate of one per year, and chickens have not been around for ten million years, then this process won't work.

    Nat, I can't count the number of times this has been pointed out to you: with statements like this, you demonstrate that you don't even have a rudimentary understanding of what the theory of evolution posits. This feature did not arise at the same time as modern chickens.

    Yours is a profoundly ignorant statement. It's like saying "Well, if it takes 15 million years for an eye to evolve but homo sapiens have only been around for 250,000, then this process won't work." Do you see the problem with a statement like that? It's likely you don't, so I'll elaborate: The ancestors of humans had eyes, and so did their ancestors, and so did theirs. And the fact that you're reading this proves that eyes don't need this feature to work.

    natschuster I know I'm just making up the numbers, but I think these things have to be clarified.

    Numbers aren't all you're making up.

    Nat, you're a million times more pleasant to talk to than people like Eocene or Joe G, but you certainly don't understand what evolutionary theory actually says any more than they do.

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  121. thornton: You seem to be blissfully unaware of most all scientific phemonena

    REALLY?

    thornton quotes: Water collected in low lying areas which gradually became the primitive oceans.

    Seems to me that piece quite clearly says that the oceans formed from water collected in in low lying areas.


    Lets now move forward. Thornton does what many of this personality type do when against the wall; they bitterly impugn the character, motivations and truthfulness of their debate opponents. So in a previous thread, after being challenged by a sophomoric question with a mathematically rigorous connotation I warned that thornton was going up against a mathematically competent and highly trained engineer, this person guffaws and impugns, implying that maybe lowly trained would be more accurate. Now thornton says about this poster:

    That should be obvious to anyone with the slightest scientific background, which seems to exclude you.

    Now it should interest readers whether or not this attempt at insult has basis.

    OK thornton lets include you in some of the scientific knowledge of which I'm at the top of the game. Let's say we are studying a bat's echolocation properties.

    1. I state to you that the bat's hearing range is -150,000 Hz to -20,000 Hz. a) would you believe this, in other words would this be likely? and b) what is it about the statement that either is a universal property of analysis or possibly violates such a property?

    2. Here is an extra credit, easy, you should be able to google this for the answer: What is the primary property of the echolocation process that affects range resolution, and what is the mathematical definition of range resolution?

    3. Extra extra credit: is there any advantage of a dolphin's sound emissions for echolocation over those of a bat? Any disadvantage?

    4. Are you in California?

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  122. MSEE said...

    thornton: You seem to be blissfully unaware of most all scientific phenomena

    REALLY?

    thornton quotes: Water collected in low lying areas which gradually became the primitive oceans.

    Seems to me that piece quite clearly says that the oceans formed from water collected in in low lying areas.


    Yes REALLY. I guess you must have early Alzheimer's, because the whole quote is

    "At this time, 3.8 billion years ago, water condensed into RAIN and poured onto the land. Water collected in low lying areas which gradually became the primitive oceans."

    What does that word say MSEE, the one right after 'condensed into' in the bolded sentence?

    I warned that thornton was going up against a mathematically competent and highly trained engineer, this person guffaws and impugns, implying that maybe lowly trained would be more accurate.

    OH NOES!!! Not a mathematically competent and highly trained (MC&HT) engineer!!

    LOL! So what in your "mathematically competent and highly trained" engineering background qualifies you as an expert in biological evolution? I see this all the time with Creationist computer science majors and engineers. The colossal hubris to think that if they know something in one specific area then suddenly they're experts in all areas.

    BTW Mr. MC&HT engineer: bats echolocation frequencies can run as high as 220Khz, range resolution is limited by the accuracy in measuring time of arrival of reflected signals, and dolphin sonar is quite a bit more sophisticated than bats in that dolphins can do pulse or swept signals and frequency hopping. You must think that since all your Creationist buddies are ignorant dolts then everyone else must be too.

    Now tell us again why not knowing and numbering every last mutation that has occurred in a lineage over the last 500 million years somehow negates all the rest of the huge amounts of positive evidence for evolution.

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  123. MSEE, since you're an expert in bat echlocation, I'm sure you're familiar with the recent work by Jones and Teeling of the evolutionary history of echolocation in bats.

    The evolution of echolocation in bats
    G. Jones, E. Teeling
    Trends in Ecology & Evolution
    Volume 21, Issue 3, March 2006, Pages 149-156

    Abstract: Recent molecular phylogenies have changed our perspective on the evolution of echolocation in bats. These phylogenies suggest that certain bats with sophisticated echolocation (e.g. horseshoe bats) share a common ancestry with non-echolocating bats (e.g. Old World fruit bats). One interpretation of these trees presumes that laryngeal echolocation (calls produced in the larynx) probably evolved in the ancestor of all extant bats. Echolocation might have subsequently been lost in Old World fruit bats, only to evolve secondarily (by tongue clicking) in this family. Remarkable acoustic features such as Doppler shift compensation, whispering echolocation and nasal emission of sound each show multiple convergent origins in bats. The extensive adaptive radiation in echolocation call design is shaped largely by ecology, showing how perceptual challenges imposed by the environment can often override phylogenetic constraints. link


    Since you obviously disagree with their conclusions and instead think all bats were 'poofed' into existence, could you please tell us specifically what evidence in the paper they got wrong, and why?

    What specifically do you find wrong with the molecular tree and phylogenetic analysis the presented? Why specifically do you disagree with their conclusion that the three major major types of echolocation calls seen in extant bats (broadband, narrowband and long constant frequency with Doppler-shift compensation) arose through adaptive radiation and subsequent convergent evolution?

    I'm looking forward to hearing a strong technical analysis from a mathematically competent and highly trained engineer.

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  124. thornton: ""At this time, 3.8 billion years ago, water condensed into RAIN and poured onto the land. Water collected in low lying areas which gradually became the primitive oceans."

    What does that word say MSEE, the one right after 'condensed into' in the bolded sentence?"

    This is really sophomoric. If I asked an elementary school student to name the major components of an ocean, the student could easily name the SEABEDS AND THE WATER.

    Your article is blank about what made the oceans. It merely says the water on the land became the oceans. It doesn't say anything about what made the oceans.

    thornton: I guess you must have early Alzheimer's

    Would-be gentle science guy thornton has a habit of making insult and pejorative the major tool of debate as usual. This is typical psychology of hard-core materialists.

    MSEE: "1. I state to you that the bat's hearing range is -150,000 Hz to -20,000 Hz. a) would you believe this, in other words would this be likely? and b) what is it about the statement that either is a universal property of analysis or possibly violates such a property?"

    Would-be scientist didn't answer this because they can't. I'll ask it again. Show you are curious enough to come up with the answer.

    thornton: range resolution is limited by the accuracy in measuring time of arrival of reflected signals, and

    Sophomoric. A scientist would know that range resolution and TOA resolution are identical, but for a constant, and that constant is what, thornton? I seriously expect you would know this, no sarcasm intended.

    Since you didn't give the right answer, I'll rephrase to help you out: what is the definition of TOA resolution? And what is the main property of the system affecting TOA resolution?

    I will say that the book on echolocation that I refer to makes no mention of dolphins using sounds other than "click-like". I'm no dolphin expert, but if this is true, then you can give a scientific answer to my question based on this.

    Thornton has answered none of my questions regarding the particular bat I'm postulating.

    thornton: I'm looking forward to hearing a strong technical analysis from a mathematically competent and highly trained engineer.

    Here is an example of avoidance of the topic. I made no claims of being expert in the evolution of bats, or vision. This discussion started with a question by me that a high school student being indoctrinated would ask, and for good reason. Thornton would answer that student with something akin to "that's a stupid question." Because thornton is against the wall in defense, as evidenced by the bitter, over the top denunciations offered.

    Thornton has answered none of my questions about the particular bat I'm postulating.

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  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  126. LOL! What's the matter Mr. mathematically competent and highly trained engineer? You didn't expect to get your questions answered and when they were you suddenly got all flustered. Then you can't answer questions on the same topic asked back to you to test your competence, but instead go into a bout of juvenile posturing.

    I made no claims of being expert in the evolution of bats, or vision.

    So I suppose when you made this brag

    MSEE: "OK thornton lets include you in some of the scientific knowledge of which I'm at the top of the game. Let's say we are studying a bat's echolocation properties."

    ...you meant "top of the game in being an empty bloviating windbag." Got it.

    There's nothing funnier than a young blustering know-it-all like MSEE having his ignorance exposed. That bit of refusing to acknowledge that rain formed the early oceans was particularly childish and revealing of your personality.

    Tell us again MSEE:

    What in your "mathematically competent and highly trained" engineering background qualifies you as an expert in biological evolution?

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  127. MSEE: Here is an example of avoidance of the topic. I made no claims of being expert in the evolution of bats, or vision. This discussion started with a question by me that a high school student being indoctrinated would ask, and for good reason.

    We went back over your comments to see what the original question was. Your first comment was nothing but handwaving and denigration.

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  128. Zachriel:

    "We went back over your comments to see what the original question was. Your first comment was nothing but handwaving and denigration."
    ======

    WE ??? Are you a trinity ??? Why all the intellect speak in the 3rd person ??? Is it easier for you to talk down to someone by doing this ??? Still working at Government Social Welfare Services I see ???

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