Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Scientist: Not so Simple—Bugs That Break all the Rules

One of the fundamental predictions of evolution is that life must have had simple beginnings. Life is complex and ever since Darwin evolutionists have tried to explain how that complexity arose over time, for life must have had simple beginnings. An obvious problem here is that even the fundamental unit of life—the cell—is itself profoundly complex. And this problem has not been aided by evolutionist’s attempts to reconstruct what that first cell might have looked like. The results were confusing due to the wide variety of genes between and amongst life’s three lineages. No clear picture of a simple progenitor emerged. Instead, the only solution seemed to be a super progenitor that already had most of the highly complex traits found in each of the three lineages. The super progenitor would have been as complex as modern cells yet would have somehow arisen in a short time. It seems that first born cell of evolution must have been quite complex, including a vast proteome of hundreds of different proteins. This is just one of many scientific falsifications of evolution’s prediction of simple beginnings.

This problem of the complexity of early life is the main topic of the current issue of New Scientist. As the magazine correctly explains:

Simple cells like bacteria are supposed to be, well, simple. They might have transformed Earth because of their unimaginable numbers, but they’re little more than tiny, solitary bags of chemicals. Or so we thought. Here, New Scientist looks at the growing number of exceptions to the rules. The most recent discoveries are challenging our ideas about the nature of early life.

Their examples are interesting but hardly new. The problem of early complexity could have been explored a decade ago or a century ago. It is yet another in a long list of evolutionary expectations that is contradicted by science. Religion drives science and it matters.

179 comments:

  1. Are you really trying to claim that the bacteria we see today are representative of the very first biological self-replicators that formed over 3+ billion years ago?

    Are you really saying you think the hypothesis "complexity in single-celled organisms may have developed earlier than previously thought" somehow means "cells magically appeared as complex entities"??

    We know you hit the bottom of the barrel with your anti-science nonsense some time ago CH. Now we discover your barrel had a trap door.

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  2. Thornton can't stay away from Dr. Hunter's blog, seems kinda like an obsession and he can't even tell us why he obsesses, I've even asked him. Speaking of obsession, "anti-science" is one of those obsessively spewed meaningless terms, means even less these days than "racist" as a serious utterance.

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  3. Ah, another Creationist nitwit pipes up from the sidelines.

    You feel like defending any of CH's nonsense Mr. "I know science because I've got a freshman level statistics book on my table"? Thought we forgot about that bit of idiocy from you, didn't you.

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  4. Yea, in any other case this would be stalking; in this case, it's just an evolutionist. :P

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  5. Perhaps the responses to Cornelius' posts would sound less repetative and trollish if Cornelius weren't basically banging the same broken drum over and over again.

    "Ooooh, it's complex - can't have evolved then!"

    And by-the-bye, I think 'anti-science' as a term perfectly covers Cornelius' mentality. He opposes the fundamental assumption of naturalism. Science assumes naturalism. Therefore Cornelius is against science.

    He only acknowledges this conflict when it comes to ToE, but that doesn't matter. His complaints against naturtalism are just as relevant against atomic theory, the theory of gravity, germ thoery, etc., whether he admits it or not.

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  6. Hunter:

    The problem of early complexity could have been explored a decade ago or a century ago.

    Guided by what paradigm(s) and enabled by what technologies extant in 1911?

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  7. Perhaps the responses to Cornelius' posts would sound less repetative and trollish if Cornelius weren't basically banging the same broken drum over and over again.

    "Ooooh, it's complex - can't have evolved then!"


    You've learned to dismiss it and rephrase it in terms that make it sound foolish. And yet principle that complex function does not arise from simplicity remains unchallenged.
    The phrase "God of the gaps" is popular because it implies a body of knowledge with only a few missing pieces left to be found. In truth the entire body of knowledge is missing. There's nothing but speculative theories.
    If you see this as progress toward discovery then you're assuming in advance what that discovery will be. You're assuming that your vague conclusion will be supported with specifics. You're looking for your keys under the streetlight.
    You ridicule 'It's complex so it couldn't have evolved,' but your position is 'It's complex and it must have evolved,' and you hold it as an article of faith. You can balance research papers full of speculation on top of it, but it fails because the foundation is a belief, not science. At least I'm honest and I don't call all of my beliefs science.

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  8. Cornelius Hunter: One of the fundamental predictions of evolution is that life must have had simple beginnings.

    Well, sort of. Complexity is not a monotonic measure. Primordial life was probably very complex, perhaps more complex in a sense than modern life—but far less integrated. What that means is that a cell may have included large numbers of weakly interacting enzymes that were later replaced by fewer, more specific enzymes. Or that life may have only been able to replicate in communities, where the functions were loosely spread out over a large number of entities.

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  9. Thorton said...
    "Are you really trying to claim that the bacteria we see today are representative of the very first biological self-replicators that formed over 3+ billion years ago?" implying that HE KNOWS all about the "self-replicators that formed over 3+ billion years ago."


    Zachriel said...
    "Primordial life was probably very complex, perhaps more complex in a sense than modern life—but far less integrated."

    Where do you guys get this stuff? You both PROVE Dr. Hunter's main point which he describes over and over and over again: that evolutionists BELIEVE things which they have only imagined out of thin air and that your FAITH in these things NOT SEEN is religious.

    You BELIEVE in "self-replicators that formed over 3+ billion years ago" because well, by golly, the living things of today MUST have started that way.

    You BELIEVE "Primordial life was probably very complex" because well, it HAD TO HAVE BEEN!

    You have a faith in things you do not see, have not seen, cannot see. Your faith is religious in character. You prove it every time you post.

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  10. Red Reader,

    How so sure they're not correct? On CH's debunking of his interpretation of TOE?

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  11. Name one other type of science in which someone can assert something based purely on speculation, with no evidence, and issue the challenge, 'How are you sure that I'm not correct?' This is Bizarro science where we assume a conclusion and retroactively conform reality to it. And the best part is that you get to mock anyone who points out how ridiculous it is.

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  12. badwiring said...

    Name one other type of science in which someone can assert something based purely on speculation, with no evidence, and issue the challenge, 'How are you sure that I'm not correct?'


    Which science fits that description? It can't be evolutionary biology or paleontology or genetics, because they are supported by decades of research and millions of pieces of consilient positive evidence from hundreds of dozens of different scientific fields. You can find much of this evidence online, or you can read about it in hundreds of technical science journals, or you can learn about it in any decent college or university, or you can see if for yourself in places like the American Museum of Natural History.

    Why do Creationists think because they, personally, are ignorant on a subject that means the rest of the world must know nothing too?

    This is Bizarro science where we assume a conclusion and retroactively conform reality to it.

    You're thinking of Christian Biblical Fundamentalism, not science.

    And the best part is that you get to mock anyone who points out how ridiculous it is.

    We only mock the those who loudly demonstrate their profound ignorance, like you.

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  13. Name one other type of science in which someone can assert something based purely on speculation, with no evidence, and issue the challenge, 'How are you sure that I'm not correct?'

    Astronomy; physics; paleontology; climate science. Probably others too, but these came to mind right away.

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  14. Red Reader: Where do you guys get this stuff?

    Please define a metric of complexity.

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  15. Badwiring,

    And the best part is that you get to mock anyone who points out how ridiculous it is.

    That was kinda mocking reply yourself, mon ami. You kinda leave yourself open to it though.

    This is Bizarro science where we assume a conclusion and retroactively conform reality to it

    This of course is a straw man version , but isn't that how trial and error works.Einstein gets the idea how light moves relatively, he then works to see if it fit the observed world. How do you fix a broken car? You start out with the theory,out of gas? Battery? A simple version of science.

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  16. Of related note, every new ‘species’ genome that is sequenced is found to have a fairly large percentage of completely unique genes:

    Widespread ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent – Paul Nelson – video with references
    http://www.vimeo.com/17135166

    As well, completely contrary to evolutionary thought, these 'new' ORFan genes are found to be just as essential as 'old' genes for maintaining life:

    Age doesn't matter: New genes are as essential as ancient ones - December 2010
    Excerpt: "A new gene is as essential as any other gene; the importance of a gene is independent of its age," said Manyuan Long, PhD, Professor of Ecology & Evolution and senior author of the paper. "New genes are no longer just vinegar, they are now equally likely to be butter and bread. We were shocked."
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216142523.htm

    New genes in Drosophila quickly become essential. - December 2010
    Excerpt: The proportion of genes that are essential is similar in every evolutionary age group that we examined. Under constitutive silencing of these young essential genes, lethality was high in the pupal (later) stage and (but was) also found in the larval (early) stages.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6011/1682.abstract

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  17. Zack,

    Please define a metric of complexity.

    I propose a " bornagain77"

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  18. Which science fits that description? It can't be evolutionary biology or paleontology or genetics, because they are supported by decades of research and millions of pieces of consilient positive evidence from hundreds of dozens of different scientific fields.
    Not the 'huge pile of evidence' bluff. Double the number if you want. More get added every single day. They propose dozens of competing explanations. No one has ever described the evolutionary pathway to any new function with any specificity, but there are plenty of papers describing the formation of the eye in simplistic terms as though it were claymation, sidestepping countless obstacles.
    How many papers describe how the teeth of an antelope evolved as it moved from one food source to another, presuming that the cause was variation and selection but not even attempting to explain how that might have worked?
    There are countless thousands of papers full of speculation, and there's always someone to get all excited because they can't tell the difference between speculation and explanation.
    That's you, Thornton. You can't tell the difference. I could take one of those papers, change some words into some novel creative nonsense, and you'd cite it a week later. Throw it on the 'huge pile of evidence!'

    Velikovskys:
    How do you fix a broken car? You start out with the theory,out of gas? Battery? A simple version of science.
    Yes, that's science. The standards are different when results are expected. If this were darwinism we would invent some never previously observed reason why the car wouldn't start and write ten thousand speculative papers and ridicule anyone who suggested testing the battery or the gas tank.
    Some would say that evolution does provide useful results, citing research into bacterial resistance. But variation within a kind has been observed for thousands of years. It has no connection to explaining the 'origin of species.'
    Evolution follows biology about, and every time something is learned or observed, it tacks on 'By the way, what you've just seen is the product of evolution. Clearly evolution is the cornerstone of biology.' It explains nothing.

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  19. It seems that there is a minimal mount of complexity that is needed to for life functions to happen.

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  20. Ritchie: "And by-the-bye, I think 'anti-science' as a term perfectly covers Cornelius' mentality. He opposes the fundamental assumption of naturalism. Science assumes naturalism. Therefore Cornelius is against science."

    Pure bs, Ritchie. It is only humanist/atheist scientists starting in the 20th century that invoked naturalism as foundational to science. This is precisely why so little has been accomplished since then.

    The vast majority of scientists prior to the 20th century did not narrow the scope of how science was done, thus allowing them a greater degree of freedom in conceptual approaches to formulating questions for their science to answer, which lead directly to the unprecedented quality and quantity of scientific discovery.

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  21. Will you ID/creation pushers please explain all of the steps of the planning, design, creation, and maintenance, by your chosen god, of every living thing, throughout time, and every atom (and their parts), and every chemical, force, law, effect, and process in the universe, and every galaxy, star, planet, moon, asteroid, comet, meteoroid, black hole, and everything else in the universe, in as much or more detail, with as much or more supporting evidence, as you expect from science?

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  22. "This is precisely why so little has been accomplished since then."

    So little? Are you living in a cave, with no communication with the outside world?

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  23. Zachriel: Please define a metric of complexity.

    velikovskys: I propose a " bornagain77"

    That would be a large number of loosely connected things.

    badwiring: No one has ever described the evolutionary pathway to any new function with any specificity,

    The evolution of the mammalian middle ear, an irreducibly complex structure, has a lot of data from comparative embryology.

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  24. Will you ID/creation pushers please explain all of the steps of the planning, design, creation, and maintenance, by your chosen god, of every living thing, throughout time, and every atom (and their parts)
    No one from any belief system (which is what Darwinism is) has those answers.
    All of the historical evidence available, however, shows that only intelligent agents create abstract codes to define components or create multipart machines with complex functions.
    Of course you can cry 'god of the gaps, just because we don't know doesn't mean someone made it.' But at that point you're making an assumption that runs contrary to mankind's entire history of observation.
    I can see speculating about it, but not dogmatically asserting what has no basis in known reality.
    That's why yours is a religion like other. It has dogma and articles of faith that you adhere to. The trouble is you just can't see it. It comes from academia and you're convinced that it's science.

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  25. The evolution of the mammalian middle ear, an irreducibly complex structure, has a lot of data from comparative embryology.
    That's as good an example as any, I suppose.
    Has the scientific community decided yet which mechanisms transformed it, step-by-step or otherwise, from its predecessor? Mutation an selection used to be the preference, but that's no longer universally accepted even among evolutionists. Not even having an accepted hypothesis is a big problem. The hypothesis is the proposed explanation. Without it, there is no explanation.
    But let's stay old school an assume RM+NS. What mutations would occur and how would they be selected? Which gene would change, producing what effect, and how would this barely noticeable modification get selected and become dominant in the population so that the next mutation could build upon it?
    Those explanations are lacking. Not in this specific case, but in every case.
    So you see, when we say that something evolved, that statement is completely devoid of any explanation whatsoever. If the explanation is 'it evolved,' but we're still left with the question of, 'how did it come about,' then it wasn't really an explanation. If 0 + X = 0, then X = 0.

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  26. RE: The evolution of the mammalian ear.

    If the evolution of the mammalian ear is the result of RM acted on by NS, that means that in a proto-mammal a mutation happened that just happened to send the bones from the jaw bone and skull into the correct position in the inner ear. And the mutations had to result in the right shape. That's really lucky. Or a sreies of mutations moved the bones slowly into position. But they wouldn't serve any purpose until they were in the right place. The only way around saying that we just got really lucky, is to say that there where lots of reandom mutations that sent the bones in all kinds of directions. Most of them didn't work. But one of them did.
    if that's what happened, I might expect to see some fossil evidence to that effect. I woudl expect to find the bones of some of the failed experiments. But to the best of my knowledge, we don't have them.

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  27. The Whole Truth: "So little? Are you living in a cave, with no communication with the outside world?"

    I stand by my statement. All the major discoveries that modern technology depends on were made prior to the 20th century.

    Your comments belies a conflation of technology as science, which we all understand is not the case.

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  28. badwiring said...

    "The evolution of the mammalian middle ear, an irreducibly complex structure, has a lot of data from comparative embryology."

    That's as good an example as any, I suppose.
    Has the scientific community decided yet which mechanisms transformed it, step-by-step or otherwise, from its predecessor? Mutation an selection used to be the preference, but that's no longer universally accepted even among evolutionists. Not even having an accepted hypothesis is a big problem. The hypothesis is the proposed explanation. Without it, there is no explanation. But let's stay old school an assume RM+NS. What mutations would occur and how would they be selected?


    We have identified mechanisms, and identified existing intermediate stages in the evolutionary development. Demanding that science catalog every last mutation is as stupid as demanding historians note the time and place of every last step Marco Polo took on his journeys or else Marco Polo didn't exist.

    Which gene would change, producing what effect, and how would this barely noticeable modification get selected and become dominant in the population so that the next mutation could build upon it?

    How do casinos make money on roulette when the green 0 and 00 numbers only give them a barely noticeable house advantage?

    Those explanations are lacking. Not in this specific case, but in every case.

    You mean you personally are ignorant of the explanations, and instead make the stupid Creationist claim that if science doesn't know every minute detail then it must know nothing.

    So you see, when we say that something evolved, that statement is completely devoid of any explanation whatsoever. If the explanation is 'it evolved,' but we're still left with the question of, 'how did it come about,' then it wasn't really an explanation. If 0 + X = 0, then X = 0

    Your woeful ignorance of the evidence doesn't make the evidence go away.

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  29. Steve said...

    The Whole Truth: "So little? Are you living in a cave, with no communication with the outside world?"

    I stand by my statement. All the major discoveries that modern technology depends on were made prior to the 20th century.


    Why don't you list for us the major scientific discoveries that were made as a direct result of the Intelligent Design Creationism paradigm and not from methodological naturalism.

    Go ahead, give us the top five.

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  30. box of rocks schuster said...

    RE: The evolution of the mammalian ear.

    If the evolution of the mammalian ear is the result of RM acted on by NS, that means that in a proto-mammal a mutation happened that just happened to send the bones from the jaw bone and skull into the correct position in the inner ear. And the mutations had to result in the right shape. That's really lucky.


    I see you're still to stupid/dishonest to include the 'selection' part again.

    Or a sreies of mutations moved the bones slowly into position. But they wouldn't serve any purpose until they were in the right place.

    Now we get the equally stupid 'what good is half an eye' argument. At no time in the development was there a non-functional 'half an ear'. In every evolving generation there was fully functional proto-ear with less capability than a modern one.

    The only way around saying that we just got really lucky, is to say that there where lots of reandom mutations that sent the bones in all kinds of directions. Most of them didn't work. But one of them did.

    Most of the changes produced no effect. Some of the changes made things worse, so they were selected out. Some of the changes made things better, and they were selected for. As always, the beneficial ones accumulated while the deleterious ones got weeded out. How may thousands of times do you need the process explained before you get it through your box of rocks head?

    if that's what happened, I might expect to see some fossil evidence to that effect. I woudl expect to find the bones of some of the failed experiments. But to the best of my knowledge, we don't have them.

    Since the failed experiments didn't lead to any new morphological forms or species, why would you expect to see them? You don't have a large enough sample set to detect small deleterious variations. However, you can easily see the effects of the accumulated good ones that do produce new form and new species with the much smaller sample size that we do possess.

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  31. Thorton:

    Are you saying that the bones moved slowly into the inner ear? Did the bones provide any benefit until they where in the exact right position? If yes, how could that be? They're not in the right place yet. Nor do they have the right shape. I'm not talking about the ear. I'm talking about the bones before they became part of the ear. If they don't provide a benefit yet. Then there is no NS.

    And for every god mutation in the process, I would expect to see a whole lot of bad ones. I woudl expect to see a few examples in the fossil record, even if they didn't establish a species, there must have been hundreds of bad mutations for every good one. TO the best of my knowledge, we haven't found any examples of a bad mutation.

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  32. box of rocks schuster said...

    Thorton:

    Are you saying that the bones moved slowly into the inner ear?


    Yes, slowly, over hundreds of thousands of generations.

    Did the bones provide any benefit until they where in the exact right position?

    Yes. Read my previous answer about the 'half an eye' stupidity. Follow with your finger if you have to.

    If yes, how could that be? They're not in the right place yet. Nor do they have the right shape.

    They don't have to be the exact shape they are today to provide some benefit. All they have to do is provide a small edge (like sensing vibrations better) over their neighbors.

    I'm not talking about the ear. I'm talking about the bones before they became part of the ear. If they don't provide a benefit yet. Then there is no NS.

    They did provide a benefit - sensing vibrations. That's why they got selected for.

    And for every god mutation in the process, I would expect to see a whole lot of bad ones.

    Why? The bad ones don't accumulate, and you have a very incomplete sampling process.

    I woudl expect to see a few examples in the fossil record, even if they didn't establish a species, there must have been hundreds of bad mutations for every good one. TO the best of my knowledge, we haven't found any examples of a bad mutation.

    Your knowledge isn't very good then, is it?

    Two-headed reptile fossil found

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  33. badwiring said:

    "All of the historical evidence available, however, shows that only intelligent agents create abstract codes to define components or create multipart machines with complex functions."

    What does any of that BS have to do with what I asked?

    The universe is not a "machine", and neither are living things. Your use of the words "abstract codes", "components", "create", "multipart machines", "complex", and "functions" are just the usual IB-babble, and they do not impress me at all.

    You assume things that have no evidence at all, and what's really funny is that after saying that no one knows the answers to my questions, you asked for the step-by-step mechanism and transformation of the middle ear.

    How about YOU showing the step-by-step mechanism/transformation, or the alleged 'creation' by your chosen god, of the middle ear. Maybe your god will loan you the blueprint, a list of parts, where the parts came from, and a complete manual on how to create a middle ear with godly powers.

    Let's see you ID-pushers show any actual evidence whatsoever of any of your claims. Bashing evolutionary theory, or "Darwinism", isn't going to prove a damn thing for your claims. You need positive evidence. Scientifically testable, verifiable evidence. You have absolutely none, and you don't have a clue as to what science is.

    Why don't you ask as much from your religious beliefs as you do from science? You expect absolute, step-by-step proof of everything that has ever existed or occurred, from science, but you believe in your religious crap without question and without any evidence whatsoever.

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  34. Did they provide a benefit before they got into position, and assumed the correct shape? Now, I understand that, in humans, if one of the middle ear bones is the wrong shape, it results in severe hearing problem. IMHO, that means that it has to be in the right place, and in have the right shape to work.

    And two headed retiles are kind of rare. Yet we found a fossil. For every good mutation, that moves the inner ear bones into the mammalian position, I would expect there to be lots and lots of bad mutations, that move it another direction. If we find a fossil of a rare-two headed reptile, why don't we have a fossil of one of the many bad mutations involving the evolution of the inner ear?

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  35. Steve, you're playing a useless little game that won't work on me.

    You said:

    "This is precisely why so little has been accomplished since then."

    And then you said:

    "I stand by my statement. All the major discoveries that modern technology depends on were made prior to the 20th century."

    Your two statements aren't even similar. There's nothing about "major discoveries" in your first statement. And your claim in your second statement is hogwash (actually in both statements). There were major discoveries before the 20th century and there were major discoveries during the 20th century, and there have been major discoveries since the 20th century. So-called "ID theory" has never made ANY discoveries at all. ID pushers only make unsupported assertions, that are based on their religious beliefs and hatred of science.

    I'm anxious to see you or another ID/creationist answer Thorton's question:

    "Why don't you list for us the major scientific discoveries that were made as a direct result of the Intelligent Design Creationism paradigm and not from methodological naturalism.

    Go ahead, give us the top five."

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  36. "If we find a fossil of a rare-two headed reptile, why don't we have a fossil of one of the many bad mutations involving the evolution of the inner ear? "

    You've got to be joking!

    Have you ever looked for or studied fossils? Do you have any idea what a daunting task it is to find vertebrate fossils at all, let alone the exact fossils that will answer all the questions?

    Do you actually believe that well preserved fossils, of every vertebrate (or invertebrate) that ever lived, are just lying on the surface in easily accessible locations that paleontologists just happen to be searching?

    Tell you what, many vertebrate fossils have been found in the state of Wyoming. Why don't you go there and find some? With your expertise and skills it should be easy. Be sure to look for middle ear fossils. They're really small and fragile, but I'm sure you can find some quickly. LOL!

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  37. One more thing, Steve:

    You said: "Your comments belies a conflation of technology as science, which we all understand is not the case."

    Without science there would be no technology.

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  38. Thornton,

    Let's just keep going in a circle.

    You: Give the detailed step-by-step process for creation.

    Me: No one has that. (To demonstrate, I point out that you cannot provide any.) However, all the available historical evidence supports design, and none supports natural processes designing machines and functions.

    You: What's that babble? You don't understand science. The complexity of life doesn't impress me. [Return to step 1.]

    You are immune to reason. Of what use is science to you? It's like giving a computer to an infant.

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  39. Fixed that for you Steve:

    So you see, when we say that god-did-it, that statement is completely devoid of any explanation whatsoever. If the explanation is 'god-did-it' but we're still left with the question of, 'how did it come about,' then it wasn't really an explanation. If 0 + X = 0, then X = 0.

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  40. An example of step by step creation?

    Just read a scientific article about ribozymes, which someone try to use them as an answer for life origin starters: they're simply "created" by genetic engineers, selecting the nucleotides that can perform some "pony" reactions (compared to the "armies of giant horses" that every second are being translated from DNA by the polymerase).

    There's an "Intelligence" behind the ribozymes, exactly as at the starting of life on earth (even if in a extremely low comparison).

    The day that you'll see a fully self-replicant "ribos" emerging from one of your "just add water" experimental pools, let me know because I'll want to became a ToE supporter!

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  41. ..are being translated..

    Sorry, "transcripted"..:)

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  42. The whole truth, said, "So you see, when we say that god-did-it, that statement is completely devoid of any explanation whatsoever."

    No, it's an explanation that can and does lead people to seek God, find Him and experience the promise of the Holy Spirit.

    Pretending that chemical processes can evolve when the improbability of it has been demonstrated scientifically borders on mental illness. The "cell-is-simple-goo" concept of early Darwinists is a drag on scientific progress. The "junk-dna" concept is a drag on scientific progress.

    Seeing the universe and life as designed by an intelligent God inspires the mind to seek out its mysteries. The founders of modern science were men of faith in a creator. Because they believed God to be wise and consistent, it inspired them on to find the laws that he put in place. That is a matter of historical record.

    So, believing in a designer is a better point of reference to start with when researching how things function. At the end of the day, pure origin of life research hasn't and doesn't contribute anything of value to biology. Its benefits are of a philosophical and spiritual value because honest investigators will see the the necessity for a designer. Dr. Dean Kenyon, Professor Emeritus of Biology at San Francisco State University is such an example.

    Perhaps CH could do an article sometime in the future on how Darwinism has had a negative impact on the progress of science. I wondering if a case could be made for the Darwinian "junk-dna" fiasco causing biology to lose 10 years of progress in genetic research. Of course, no one will be held accountable, but it would be interesting to investigate further.

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  43. The Whole Truth:

    I know that fossils aren't all that rare. Ther are hundreds of thousands of fossils being studied in museums. There are entire bone bed made of vertebrate fossils. I have three fossil collections that include dinosaur bones that I use in my classes. I didn't spend a lot on them.
    I keep on reading that a lot of fossils in the synapsid to mammal transition have been found.

    Its just that direct evidence for evolution in the fossil record seems to be really, really rare. There are very few examples of species to species change. And, it seems few examples of bad mutations that didn't make it.

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  44. The whole truth said, "Tell you what, many vertebrate fossils have been found in the state of Wyoming. "

    yes and they do not support gradualism.

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  45. Marcel responding to Thorton:

    "Yea, in any other case this would be stalking; in this case, it's just an evolutionist."
    ===

    What what exactly do you expect when you make an ignorant comment like this below:

    Marcel:
    " . . all science is crap. Scientists are thieves who couldn't make it in the real world. The Ig Nobel prizes are just the tip of the iceberg."
    ===

    When you take a dump like that in public, then you can expect to attract all sorts of creatures in the fly family. Even a few dung beetles like Thorton and Whole Truth.

    Frankly the subject of the O.P.'s post could have been very interesting, but for the moment there doesn't seem to be any reasonable hope to resurrect it.

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  46. Red Reader: Where do you guys get this stuff? You both PROVE Dr. Hunter's main point which he describes over and over and over again: that evolutionists BELIEVE things which they have only imagined out of thin air and that your FAITH in these things NOT SEEN is religious.

    Red,

    Perhaps you could give us an example of something we observe directly, rather than observing it's effect?

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  47. natschuster: Are you saying that the bones moved slowly into the inner ear? Did the bones provide any benefit until they where in the exact right position? If yes, how could that be?

    Great questions. When scientists began studying embryos they found that the same structures that developed into reptilian jaw bones (articular and quadrate) developed into human ossicles (malleus and incus). When coupled with the Theory of Common Descent, it implied that the ossicles evolved from jaw bones. But how could the delicate, complex and irrecible structure evolve in such a manner!?

    The key is that the three bones involved, two from the jaw, were always in constant contact during the transition.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_mammalian_auditory_ossicles#Evolutionary_history

    There are a large number of transitional fossils that support the transition, each step providing a workable jaw, and a selectable increase in hearing, as predicted. The changes occurred by small genetic changes that affected timing during development.

    Meng, Wang, & Li, Transitional mammalian middle ear from a new Cretaceous Jehol eutriconodont, Nature 2011.

    This confirms a very bold prediction from Common Descent. It combines data from embryology, genetics and paleontology. It shows how an irreducibly complex structure can evolve in incremental, selectable steps. And it illustrates that personal incredulity is not an argument.

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  48. Zachriel:

    My questions above was that if a series of random mutations was the force that moved the bones into the right position, how did they know how to get it right? How id they know how to move the bones into the precise correct position, and assume the correct shape? Did they just get really lucky? Or where there so many mutations that it was inevitable that the right combination would happen. Then where are all the bad mutations?

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  49. ZAchriel, since you are well versed in evolutionary theory, why do you repeatedly bring up the middle ear as evidence for evolution? Doesn't the repetition of this same tired example betray your mountain of evidence as being more of a paupers purse of evidence?

    Isn't it more likely that the so called "transitionals" (maybe that needs another set up quotes) of the middle ear were just cleverly arranged fossils that were fitted to a foregone conclusion? Do all the bones in your so called "transitional" fossils animals fit and match the same evolutionary development? I mean, when you line up your fossils to show sequence of middle ear evolutionary development, do all their other bones show the correct and exact sequence of development too? What you really have is just a mixing and matching of different animal middle ear bones that would not even be counted as good circumstantial evidence if they were put on trial?

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  50. Neal Tedford: since you are well versed in evolutionary theory, why do you repeatedly bring up the middle ear as evidence for evolution?

    Because it's a great example, with lots of evidence, and fairly easy to understand.

    Neal Tedford: Isn't it more likely that the so called "transitionals" (maybe that needs another set up quotes) of the middle ear were just cleverly arranged fossils that were fitted to a foregone conclusion?

    That doesn't make sense. Are you saying that Liaoconodon hui didn't exist? It seems you just don't like the facts.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uXEEue5ixmk/TaaEVO5aqhI/AAAAAAAAFII/1Z-S0O7IuCU/s1600/31315_web.jpg

    natschuster: My questions above was that if a series of random mutations was the force that moved the bones into the right position, how did they know how to get it right?

    Well, we answered several of your questions. We know that a given trait, such as the size of a bone, will vary naturally about a mean, and that many such traits are linked during development.

    Each of the steps during the development of the middle ear were within the range of reasonable natural variation. Reabsorption of the Meckel's cartiage disconnecting the ossicles from the mandible are controlled by just a few genes, in a process called paedomorphy that are largely controlled by just a few genes.

    Your original argument was clearly based on irreducible complexity. How could it have evolved?! It had to have been fitted together. It turns out that it can evolve. And we know it did evolve because we have the fossils to show the history of that transition.

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  51. natschuster,

    I lost track trying to count how many times you assumed your conclusion in your narrative.
    I especially love the way you note that different genes were responsible for the variations so that you can add genetics to the list of sciences involved.
    Maybe these fossils did descend from one another. But how? By invoking the magic of variation and selection? That takes us right back to the questions raised more than once. Which genetic variations? How were they selected? When is a creature's success in survival and reproduction increased by a change to a single gene affecting its jawbone?
    It looks nice when the fossils are laid out, but it breaks down when you get the specifics, mostly because there aren't any.

    ReplyDelete
  52. And I'll address the argument made more than once that neither ID or creationism (for those who can tell the difference) explain what evolution does not.
    No, neither does. I'll leave out creationism because it's irrelevant in this context.
    But ID posits that design is the cause (not the explanation) based on historical observation of things that were designed and those that weren't.
    It's humble, simple, and, most importantly, backed by an abundance of evidence.
    I'll take that any day over, 'It happened by variation and selection, don't question it. We don't know how, but our minds are made up and we'll keep searching under this streetlight until we find a way to support what we've decided in advance is true.'

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  53. Sorry, one more. I loved this quote from the above linked Wikipedia on mammalian ear evolution:

    But the earliest tetrapods, amphibians and amniotes probably did not have ear drums. In fact ear drums apparently evolved independently three to six times, in: stegocephalians (very primitive amphibians);

    We don't know whether they had ear drums, but we can discuss the evolution of their ears like it's yesterday's football game.

    And ear drums probably evolved three to six times? What? How many times, three, four, five, or six? (And that's probably. Maybe it was two or seven or seventeen.) In order to fit the theory to the evidence, we have to assume that ear drums are just popping of left and right like soap bubbles. Does anyone know how many components have to come into place for a single ear drum to work? How the physical features are useless unless they can convert vibrations to nervous signals, which in turn are useless without a brain that can interpret them? But if it has to happen a dozen times over to make the theory fit, then that must be what happened.

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  54. Badwiring:

    I'm not sure hat your point is. In the human ear, the inner bones have to be the right shape, and be in the right position, or it causes big problems. How did the bones know how to get into the right shape and position, even if they evolved from a transitional form? Evne if there were functional transitions, it seems to me that the bones have to be in a pretty precise position to function. That seems to be the case in the article. Did it just keep on getting lucky?

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  55. natschuster: How did the bones know how to get into the right shape and position, even if they evolved from a transitional form?

    They didn't know. Rather, there were natural variations in their structures, and those that provided better hearing gave the organism an overall evolutionary advantage.

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  56. natschuster,

    I must have gotten the wrong idea from the post I responded to. Sorry about that. I think we're both agreeing that there is no scientific explanation for the positioning of the bones in the mammalian ear.

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  57. Zachriel:

    For every good mutation that led to a benefit, I, for one would expect, a whole bunch of mutations that were negative or neutral. Where are they?

    And I don't think my point is based on irreducible complexity. The point I'm making is that the ear requires its parts to be pretty precise. Its hard to get that from a random process.

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  58. Zachriel,

    there were natural variations in their structures, and those that provided better hearing gave the organism an overall evolutionary advantage.

    How many genes does it take to define the growth and form of an ear as well as all of the related functions for it to be useful? I confess, I don't know. Do you?

    How does a change to a single gene produce a benefit that's going to increase a creature's chance of survival? It's just as likely to get picked off by a predator as the next rodent. In reality, not in fiction, how is a different type of ear produced by tiny incremental changes that increase survivability and are selected?

    And if no one can explain how that or anything like it happened, what is the scientific basis for stating that it did?

    ReplyDelete
  59. And going a step further, there's the problem that nothing could evolve serially, as one beneficial mutation at a time was selected and fixed in the population, followed by another and another. That would suggest that the mutations were actually coordinating with one another to reach a target. And, it doesn't leave enough time in the history of the earth for very much to evolve.
    So we'd have to assume that multiple beneficial mutations arose in a population at once, and somehow all became dominant without canceling each other out. IOW, as rodent A with slightly better hearing mates with rodent B with slightly better vision, the right genes must always be dominant or else the tenuous uphill climb toward greater function gets knocked down a few steps. (The beneficial gene could remain hidden, recessive, but then how it is selected?)

    But when we say, 'There were tiny variations that got selected' it sounds a lot simpler.

    ReplyDelete
  60. badwiring said...

    Thornton,

    Let's just keep going in a circle.

    You: Give the detailed step-by-step process for creation.

    Me: No one has that. (To demonstrate, I point out that you cannot provide any.) However, all the available historical evidence supports design, and none supports natural processes designing machines and functions.


    Except I can and have provided you with scientific evidence and details with evidence for evolution. You can't supply a single detail of bit of evidence for your ID brain fart, yet you demand infinite detail from science. Big fat hypocrite.

    You are immune to reason. Of what use is science to you? It's like giving a computer to an infant.

    How would you know since you haven't used any reason? You keep knee-jerk rejecting things you're completely ignorant of because they contradict your religious beliefs. That's your problem Bunky, not science's.

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  61. natschuster said...

    Badwiring:

    I'm not sure hat your point is. In the human ear, the inner bones have to be the right shape, and be in the right position, or it causes big problems. How did the bones know how to get into the right shape and position, even if they evolved from a transitional form? Evne if there were functional transitions, it seems to me that the bones have to be in a pretty precise position to function. That seems to be the case in the article. Did it just keep on getting lucky?


    Shorter stupid/dishonest IDiot "What good is half an eye, er, ear??"

    Evolution of mammalian auditory ossicles

    Keep it up nat. Keep pretending you haven't been answered multiple times. Show the world what a dishonest jerk you really are.

    ReplyDelete
  62. We don't know whether they had ear drums, but we can discuss the evolution of their ears like it's yesterday's football game.

    It is possible to infer the presence of tympani from other structures, such as the presence of an otich notch and a gracile stapes, and by character state optimisation on phylogenetic hypotheses. Those are the basic elements of the discussion. I guess you have pretty dense football talks.

    And ear drums probably evolved three to six times? What? How many times, three, four, five, or six? (And that's probably. Maybe it was two or seven or seventeen.)

    There are currently three major hypotheses on the phylogeny of crown-group tetrapods and the many other limbed Devonian and Carboniferous taxa. The inferred number of independent origins for tympani depends on that and taxonomic sampling.

    In order to fit the theory to the evidence, we have to assume that ear drums are just popping of left and right like soap bubbles.

    I don't see any reason to think the eardrum would be so terribly difficult to evolve. It's a rather simple membrane.

    Does anyone know how many components have to come into place for a single ear drum to work?

    Yes. The eardrum itself and and a lever connecting it to the stapes (like the extracolumella in squamates). Place the proximal end of the stapes on the fenestra ovalis and you're done. I suspect you can also have a functional middle ear with a stapes directly connected to the tympanum, without a lever system. But that would certainly be much less efficient.

    How the physical features are useless unless they can convert vibrations to nervous signals, which in turn are useless without a brain that can interpret them? But if it has to happen a dozen times over to make the theory fit, then that must be what happened.

    Silly palaeontologists. If they only knew the same neurological wiring is used by vertebrates that sense low-frequency sound waves, just like fish in water (their bodies and water have a similar density, so sound can pass right trough the body wall to the inner ear)...

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  63. badwiring said...

    However, all the available historical evidence supports design, and none supports natural processes designing machines and functions.


    IDiot logic:

    "Humans designed sprinklers to water the grass

    Rain clouds water the grass

    Therefore rain clouds were designed!!"

    ...yet these IDiots still wonder why the scientific community laughs at them.

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  64. Thornton,

    It's worth all that typing just to watch you go into a foaming rage.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Nice try, Geoxus, but describing the workings of the inner ear and stating that it could easily evolve isn't close to an explanation. Even if you can make an ear and related nervous system sound simple, there's no reason to think that random variation can build it.
    There are currently three major hypotheses on the phylogeny of crown-group tetrapods and the many other limbed Devonian and Carboniferous taxa.
    Three 'major?' How many 'minor?' It doesn't make any difference. When you get the bottom of each, you'll find the unsubstantiated premise that their development resulted from variation and selection.
    Science must work with the evidence that it has, not the evidence that scientists hope to find.

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  66. badwiring said...

    Thornton,

    It's worth all that typing just to watch you go into a foaming rage.


    LOL! Where "foaming rage" means "pointed out the arrogant ignorance of the IDiots" once again.

    Have you ever taken a science course in your life? At any level? Or is ICR and Chick tracts the extent of your 'scientific' education? Tell us again how your 'common sense' trumps 150+ years of technical scientific evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  67. badwiring said...

    Nice try, Geoxus, but describing the workings of the inner ear and stating that it could easily evolve isn't close to an explanation. Even if you can make an ear and related nervous system sound simple, there's no reason to think that random variation can build it.
    There are currently three major hypotheses on the phylogeny of crown-group tetrapods and the many other limbed Devonian and Carboniferous taxa.
    Three 'major?' How many 'minor?' It doesn't make any difference. When you get the bottom of each, you'll find the unsubstantiated premise that their development resulted from variation and selection.
    Science must work with the evidence that it has, not the evidence that scientists hope to find


    Shorter IDiot: "Science doesn't know everything so therefore science doesn't know anything!!"

    Really BW, aren't you embarrassed by making arguments that stupid? You should be.

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  68. It's interesting that many research papers don't even bother to mention variation and selection anymore. They simply state that a creature evolved or adapted, usually when noting that it is well-suited to its environment. As in, 'The antelope migrated to a grassier environment and evolved flatter teeth for chewing on grass.'
    And then someone will post a link to that paper to support their position, not even realizing that it assumes its conclusion rather than supporting it.

    I mention that because some people (rhymes with Flornton) love to post links to papers and insist that the rest of us are ignorant. They don't realize that you can't change reality by writing a paper that assumes its conclusion or by accumulating a hundred thousand of them. Sometimes we have to actually think for ourselves.

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  69. Poor Thornton,

    Shorter IDiot: "Science doesn't know everything so therefore science doesn't know anything!!"
    (Thanks for the extra exclamation point!!)

    There are some things you can't know without knowing something else first. For example, you can't explain a blackened, smoking forest with a forest fire without first knowing that wood burns, can you?

    You can't forensically examine a body and determine that it was murdered without finding a mechanism of death, can you?

    Likewise, you can't make the claim that selection and variation is responsible for all of biology (and dadgummit, it's a fact, stop being ignorant and questioning science!!) without first understanding whether those mechanisms can actually build new functionality.
    That is, unless we're performing Bizarro science where we come to the conclusion first and then scrape the barrel for any shred of fact that might support that conclusion, throwing away the rest.
    What other field of sciences has to make so many excuses and come up with such contorted stories to even give the appearance of truth.
    Check out this Wikipedia link, full of links to research papers. And keep in mind, these guys are on your side, not mine.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceanic_dispersal
    The short version: In order for primates and other animals to have evolved from common ancestors, they must have sailed across oceans. Repeatedly. But again, the conclusion has already been reached. If that's what it takes for the evidence to fit it, so be it!!

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  70. badwiring said...

    It's interesting that many research papers don't even bother to mention variation and selection anymore. They simply state that a creature evolved or adapted, usually when noting that it is well-suited to its environment. As in, 'The antelope migrated to a grassier environment and evolved flatter teeth for chewing on grass.'
    And then someone will post a link to that paper to support their position, not even realizing that it assumes its conclusion rather than supporting it.


    Papers on new aircraft wing design don't have a section proving Bernoulli's Principle either. Did that particular non-sequitur have a point?

    I mention that because some people (rhymes with Flornton) love to post links to papers and insist that the rest of us are ignorant. They don't realize that you can't change reality by writing a paper that assumes its conclusion or by accumulating a hundred thousand of them. >

    Some Creationist (rhymes with badwiring) is so dense he things every new scientific paper should also include all the work done the previous 150+ years. He doesn't understand that new research build on previously established results. I can't think of any scientific discipline everywhere that requires new papers to 'reinvent the wheel' and publish everything previously discovered in the field. Can you?

    Sometimes we have to actually think for ourselves.

    First you have to be able to actually think.

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  71. badwiring said...

    Likewise, you can't make the claim that selection and variation is responsible for all of biology (and dadgummit, it's a fact, stop being ignorant and questioning science!!) without first understanding whether those mechanisms can actually build new functionality.


    1. Iterative adaptive feedback processes like evolution have already been proven capable of producing new functionality including irreducible complexity, both in the lab and in the field. There are multi-million dollar industries that use the technique - genetic algorithms - to produce novel designs.

    2. No one in science says RM+NS are the features responsible for ALL of biology. Your ignorance is showing again.

    The short version: In order for primates and other animals to have evolved from common ancestors, they must have sailed across oceans. Repeatedly. But again, the conclusion has already been reached. If that's what it takes for the evidence to fit it, so be it!!

    You might want to look up something called plate tectonics. Or is that another 'not mentioned in the Bible so it can't be true' battle for you?

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  72. every new scientific paper should also include all the work done the previous 150+ years.
    So they actually figured out how mutation and selection could produce an avian lung or the combined abilities of spiders to produce, construct and use webs, but that was soooo long ago that it's not worth mentioning anymore. Or including in science texts. You're saying they know that, but they don't put it in the books so they'll have more room for the failed Miller-Urey experiments? Sure, and mating pairs of monkeys routinely float across oceans to start anew somewhere else.
    I repeat, stop believing everything you read and start thinking for yourself.
    (How is it that I'm supposed to feel embarrassed, other than for continuing this discussion?)

    ReplyDelete
  73. badwiring said...

    "every new scientific paper should also include all the work done the previous 150+ years."

    So they actually figured out how mutation and selection could produce an avian lung or the combined abilities of spiders to produce, construct and use webs, but that was soooo long ago that it's not worth mentioning anymore.


    It's mentioned all over the primary scientific literature.

    Basic avian pulmonary design and flow-through
    ventilation in non-avian theropod dinosaurs


    It's just not mentioned at AIG and the other Creationist garbage sites you read.

    Or including in science texts. You're saying they know that, but they don't put it in the books so they'll have more room for the failed Miller-Urey experiments?

    No one book can include every last known scientific discovery. The research is easily findable through a search engine like Google Scholar. But first you have to want to learn. That seems to leave you out.

    Sure, and mating pairs of monkeys routinely float across oceans to start anew somewhere else.

    I see you were to lazy to look up plate tectonics and its connection to the distribution of extant fauna. What a surprise.

    I repeat, stop believing everything you read and start thinking for yourself.

    You seem to feel that "thinking for yourself" means "accept only whatever makes me feel good and hand-wave away the rest". Thinking for yourself only works if you have the sufficient knowledge and background to make informed decisions. You have demonstrated in spades that you don't.

    I really don't care what your personal beliefs are. Heck, I've even gone to battle to defend the rights of guys like you to have freedom of speech. But when you come onto a public discussion board and start talking trash about things you don't have the least bit of training or understanding of, you should expect to get your ears boxed.

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  74. Thornton,

    I really appreciate it when you post links to papers to support your claims. Because then I get to point out, as in this case, that it does not it any case explain what you think it does, or even attempt to.
    All you've got holding you up are your supposed 150+ years of scientific evidence, but when you dig into your treasure chest this is all you can find. It describes pulmonary design (!!) in birds and compares it to dinosaurs. I'm not criticizing the paper. It just doesn't say what you want it to. Please post more.
    As for the tectonic plates, don't tell me. Tell the darwninists who said the monkeys sailed across oceans. Don't you get it? That's not my crazy story. It's yours. It's part of your 150+ years of evidence.
    Happy sailing.

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  75. ps - I don't visit creationist web sites. I couldn't even name one.

    ReplyDelete
  76. As for the tectonic plates, don't tell me. Tell the darwninists who said the monkeys sailed across oceans.

    You took it just a bit too far. This is obviously a Poe. Even creationists aren't that idiotic.

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  77. What, it sounds so crazy that I must be making it up? This is from the Wikipedia article. Remember, Wikipedia is highly biased toward evolution. They're not doing me any favors. And they cite plenty of respectable sources.
    Here are a few notes:

    Oceanic dispersal is a type of biological dispersal that occurs when organisms transfer from one land mass to another by way of a sea crossing on large clumps of floating vegetation

    Note the phrasing. It's not thought to have occurred, not speculated, but it occurs. As if it's a routine thing for animals to float across a sea on a log, survive, and breed. Note that the article doesn't give one observed example of this thing that occurs.

    Rafting has played an important role in the colonization of isolated land masses, such as Madagascar, which has been isolated for ~120 million years (Ma), and South America, which was isolated for much of the Cenozoic. Both land masses, for example, appear to have received their primates by this mechanism.

    "Rafting." They have a word for monkeys floating across oceans. You know, because it happens so much that you need a word for it.

    Have you ever seen the nature special where the monkey sits on a log and it blows out to sea? Me either.

    Sorry, I didn't make this up. If you're on that side of the fence, this is yours to deal with.

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  78. When a theory doesn't fit the facts, it must be stretched in all sorts of ways and contorted. It must make increasingly absurd proclamations. Or it can be abandoned. The trouble is that too much is invested in this one. So every contradiction is seen as an anomaly, and only the evidence that appears to confirm or at least agree is validated. It's called confirmation bias.

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  79. Nice try, Geoxus, but describing the workings of the inner ear and stating that it could easily evolve isn't close to an explanation.

    I didn't describe the "workings" of anything, my description was entirely structural.

    Even if you can make an ear and related nervous system sound simple,

    I didn't say either of the two are simple. I explained why the acquisition of a tympanum is rather simple. I have the tendency to stand on-topic.

    there's no reason to think that random variation can build it.

    Random (with respect to fitness) is always the null hypothesis and it is also the mode of variation that is overwhelmingly supported by the current evidence. I guess those are two good reasons.

    Three 'major?' How many 'minor?'

    About every phylogenetic analysis posits a new hypothesis, so you could say that there are as many "minor" hypotheses as there are phylogenetic analyses. But since the late 1990's practically all of the computer-assisted analyses converge into one of those three major hypotheses (ant those three hypotheses are converging to each other as well).

    When you get the bottom of each, you'll find the unsubstantiated premise that their development resulted from variation and selection.

    No. Cladistics doesn't assume natural selection.

    Science must work with the evidence that it has, not the evidence that scientists hope to find.

    I agree. Analogously, one must criticise the research that one's actually read and understood, not the imaginary silliness you wish it were.

    I don't visit creationist web sites. I couldn't even name one.

    We know, you only visit those that don't openly disclaim their creationism. The reputable ones.

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  80. Geoxus,

    I explained why the acquisition of a tympanum is rather simple.

    If the acquisition is rather simple, then perhaps you'd care to explain it or reference an explanation.

    Random (with respect to fitness) is always the null hypothesis and it is also the mode of variation that is overwhelmingly supported by the current evidence.

    Much variation is random. Quite a bit isn't. But we're talking about where eardrums come from, which can't be derived from any observed variations. I thought you said you liked to stay on topic.

    Cladistics doesn't assume natural selection.

    Cladistics are part of biology, and evolution is the cornerstone of biology (they say) and natural selection drives evolution.

    one must criticise the research that one's actually read and understood

    In most cases it's not so much criticism. Someone gets all excited about the research paper that makes their point for them, and it doesn't. We both know that when you get to the issues at the very bottom, specifically the mechanisms by which organisms gradually transform from one type to another, there are no research papers that even claim to have an answer. They speculate.

    I get it. You think (rather condescendingly) that if anyone doesn't believe it, they must not understand it. Every criticism, contradiction, and unanswered question is just an anomaly. If something is unknown, it will be discovered. This is what you and creationists have in common. You both start with an article of faith, seek confirmation, and wave away whatever doesn't fit. Like Moses parting the Red Sea, you believe that it happened even if you can't say how.
    That's okay for religion, but it's lousy science.

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  81. badwiring

    You might want to read about something known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect).

    Unfortunately upon learning about it, the people most affected by it tend to immediately conclude that almost everyone but them is affected.

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  82. If the acquisition is rather simple, then perhaps you'd care to explain it or reference an explanation.

    Here is a plausible way:

    Thus those organisms that had superfluous jaw-supports in the otic region and the ancestral tendency to produce a spiracle in that region were able to produce a tympanic middle ear by the simple combination of strong thinning of the skin across the spiracle (producing an eardrum) and thinning and lightening of the columella (stapes)-extracolumella connected to this area. In that region at the rear of the skull arose a deep indentation to accommodate the superficial tympanic membrane.

    Manley, GA. "An evolutionary perspective on middle ears." Hearing Research. Volume 263, Issues 1-2, May 2010, Pages 3-8.

    Much variation is random. Quite a bit isn't.

    [citation needed]

    Cladistics are [sic] part of biology, and evolution is the cornerstone of biology (they say) and natural selection drives evolution.

    No. Cladistics would work the same under a Lamarckian scheme. Some approaches to cladistics don't even assume evolution (but that's not the case here).

    You think (rather condescendingly) that if anyone doesn't believe it, they must not understand it.

    I know you don't understand it, because you were implying homoplasy for obviously plesiomorphic characters ("How the physical features are useless unless they can convert vibrations to nervous signals"). But I went further, I posited that, in fact, you did not even read the research. Was I wrong? I have the papers. Would you be able to answer specific questions about them?

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  83. Geoxus,

    A few questions about your plausible hypothesis:
    Why did strong thinning of the skin across the spiracle occur? How many steps did it take, and how was each selected? Why did a deep skull indentation arise to accommodate it? How many steps did it take? How was each selected?

    Your 'plausible way' describes the developments step by step as if it's magic. A deep indentation was needed? It arose.

    I've read plenty of research, and all I see is more of the same. Again, you condescendingly conclude that if I don't believe it, I must not understand it. Do you understand that the simple explanation you provided explains nothing?

    Darwinism inhabits a world in which a plausible scenario is all you need. The conclusion is determined, and now you can spend the rest of your life validating it.

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  84. badwiring,

    "Again you condescendingly conclude that if I don't believe it, I must not understand it."

    I wish i had a dollar for every time I've heard that response. It always makes me laugh. They claim you're just not understanding the subject and therefore you don't believe it. If you could just understand it as they do, you would naturally believe it. Isn't it funny that though they claim to understand the subject, they don't seem to have the ability to explain it in such a way as to make someone else understand it. I wonder what conclusion should be drawn from that fact.

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  85. Zachriel, Liaoconodon hui is identified as a mammal with three ear bones. This is the best of the best you can produce? Variation on the placement of the three ear bones is hardly compelling. There's considerable mixing and matching and variation of traits among the immense mosiac of living and fossilized organisms so that confirmation bias could cherry pick stuff here and there that seems to fit the evolutionary story.

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  86. badwiring,

    Answer my questions and I'll answer yours. Was it just condescension on my part or you were arrogantly dismissing research you never read?

    Prove you did your homework: what are the differences between the two kinds of metrics shown on table 1? what kind of jaw suspension was present in stem-tetrapods according to the analysis?

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  87. This is the best of the best you can produce? Variation on the placement of the three ear bones is hardly compelling. There's considerable mixing and matching and variation of traits among the immense mosiac of living and fossilized organisms so that confirmation bias could cherry pick stuff here and there that seems to fit the evolutionary story.

    That sets a new record for pathetic hand waving, even for this blog.

    Keep praying the fossils away, Tedford. Keep your peace of mind.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Badwiring: Much variation is random. Quite a bit isn't. But we're talking about where eardrums come from, which can't be derived from any observed variations. I thought you said you liked to stay on topic.

    Badwiring,

    Perhaps you'd like to enlighten us as to what actually can be derived from observed variations?

    More specifically, what do we observe directly, rather than observing its effects?

    ReplyDelete
  89. "god-did-it" is NOT "an explanation that can and does lead people to seek God, find Him and experience the promise of the Holy Spirit."

    god-did-it is not an explanation of anything at all. And this "Holy Spirit" thing you mentioned; do you have scientifically testable evidence of its existence? How about a photograph of it? Does it look like Casper?

    "Science must work with the evidence that it has, not the evidence that scientists hope to find."

    Since "ID theory" is alleged to be scientific, it must do the same thing. And since it has NO evidence, it's dead in the water.

    "I know that fossils aren't all that rare."

    The go find some, and especially some mammalian middle ear bones. Let me know when you find them and have them all figured out. I'd like to see your scientific paper about them.

    "Isn't it funny that though they claim to understand the subject, they don't seem to have the ability to explain it in such a way as to make someone else understand it. I wonder what conclusion should be drawn from that fact."

    The conclusion that godbots like you are too dense to understand it.

    "yes and they do not support gradualism."

    Actually, they do.

    "I lost track trying to count how many times you assumed your conclusion in your narrative."

    That's exactly what I think when I read the spewage from godbots.

    "But ID posits that design is the cause (not the explanation) based on historical observation of things that were designed and those that weren't."

    Actually, ID "posits" (assumes as a fact) a lot more than that.

    "It's humble, simple, and, most importantly, backed by an abundance of evidence."

    It's actually arrogant, sanctimonious, convoluted, chaotic, unsupported, delusional, based on religious fairy tales, and has no evidence.

    "We don't know how, but our minds are made up and we'll keep searching under this streetlight until we find a way to support what we've decided in advance is true."

    That's "ID theory" all over.

    "I must have gotten the wrong idea from the post I responded to."

    That's because you sometimes direct your responses to the wrong person.

    "It's worth all that typing just to watch you go into a foaming rage."

    So, you just type all that crap in the hope of stirring up trouble.

    "They don't realize that you can't change reality by writing a paper that assumes its conclusion or by accumulating a hundred thousand of them."

    Apply that to all of the religious crap that has ever been written, or spoken.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Continued:

    "Sometimes we have to actually think for ourselves."

    Yep, and that means disregarding all of the fairy tales, doctrines, and dogma that has been conjured up by religious zealots.

    "There are some things you can't know without knowing something else first."

    True. You should try learning a first thing, and then move onto a second thing, and a third, etc.

    "That is, unless we're performing Bizarro science where we come to the conclusion first and then scrape the barrel for any shred of fact that might support that conclusion, throwing away the rest.
    What other field of sciences has to make so many excuses and come up with such contorted stories to even give the appearance of truth."

    You just described ID and religion, except that it would be way too generous to call it "science".

    "As if it's a routine thing for animals to float across a sea on a log, survive, and breed."

    I don't know that I'd call it "routine" but it certainly does occur. How else do you think land animals get to islands (without human help)?

    "When a theory doesn't fit the facts, it must be stretched in all sorts of ways and contorted. It must make increasingly absurd proclamations. Or it can be abandoned."

    Since you just described "ID theory", it should be abandoned.

    "I get it. You think (rather condescendingly) that if anyone doesn't believe it, they must not understand it. Every criticism, contradiction, and unanswered question is just an anomaly. If something is unknown, it will be discovered. This is what you and creationists have in common. You both start with an article of faith, seek confirmation, and wave away whatever doesn't fit. Like Moses parting the Red Sea, you believe that it happened even if you can't say how.
    That's okay for religion, but it's lousy science."

    Actually, that's what creationists and IDiots have in common. It's not lousy science. It's not science at all.

    If it's okay for religion, then religion is a psychosis.

    "Do you understand that the simple explanation you provided explains nothing?"

    Do you understand that ID/creationism/religion explains nothing?

    Science explains a lot.

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  91. badwiring said...

    What, it sounds so crazy that I must be making it up? This is from the Wikipedia article. Remember, Wikipedia is highly biased toward evolution. They're not doing me any favors. And they cite plenty of respectable sources.
    Here are a few notes:

    Oceanic dispersal is a type of biological dispersal that occurs when organisms transfer from one land mass to another by way of a sea crossing on large clumps of floating vegetation


    Your original claim wasn't just about animals colonizing new islands, remember? It was about the entire history of common descent resting on ocean dispersal. Here are your exact words

    badwiring: "The short version: In order for primates and other animals to have evolved from common ancestors, they must have sailed across oceans. Repeatedly"

    You misread the article, then made a really stupid claim about what it said without even knowing how wrong your retelling was.

    That's why I pointed out to you that "thinking for yourself" only works if you have the sufficient knowledge and background to make informed decisions. You don't. Once again you have demonstrated that you don't have the faintest sniff of a clue about the evidence for or theories of evolutionary biology.

    ReplyDelete
  92. badwiring said...

    Thornton,

    I really appreciate it when you post links to papers to support your claims. Because then I get to point out, as in this case, that it does not it any case explain what you think it does, or even attempt to.


    You claimed science knows nothing at all about the evolution of avian lungs. I show you scientific research, and now suddenly it's "well, that's not good enough to satisfy me!". Too bad BW. Science will progress whether the willfully ignorant like you bluster or not.

    All you've got holding you up are your supposed 150+ years of scientific evidence, but when you dig into your treasure chest this is all you can find. It describes pulmonary design (!!) in birds and compares it to dinosaurs. I'm not criticizing the paper. It just doesn't say what you want it to. Please post more.

    Sure thing Massa! I'll get right on spending months researching and posting from the hundreds of thousands of relevant scientific papers so you can ignore them without bothering to read even the abstracts.

    Here's a better idea - get off your lazy can and do some research yourself so you won't look like a clueless goober every time you open your mouth.

    Why are Creationist so damn lazy and won't lift a finger to learn even the basics of evolutionary theory before they spout off? Is it because they're petrified that Satan will gouge out their eyes if they look on his Devilish scientific works?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Isn't it funny that though they claim to understand the subject, they don't seem to have the ability to explain it in such a way as to make someone else understand it.

    To paraphrase a famous quote: "It's impossible to make someone understand something when the fate of their very soul depends on not understanding it."

    ReplyDelete
  94. Thornton,

    I seem to recall, when I pointed out that your avian pulmonary research paper had nothing to do with how it actually evolved, I also predicted that you would throw a fit over it. Apparently my hypothesis was correct.
    You post a paper which demonstrates nothing at all, but you demand that I see in it what isn't there. You take offense when I don't.
    That you see something in that paper when there is nothing speaks volumes.
    What am I to determine from this? That you aren't actually reading the papers you post? That you read them but don't actually care what they say?
    As I set before, it's telling that you talk endlessly about the volumes of research and evidence, but when you produce some it contains nothing. Was that an accident? Did you mean to produce something more substantial but copy the wrong link? If you're trying to make the case that thousands of papers support your position, why attempt to demonstrate it with a sample that demonstrates nothing?
    If there's something substantial to show and everyone needs to learn it, why not put it in every high school biology book? Are you saying that it could be taught convincingly but educators choose not to?

    I'm prepared now for you to yell at me in meaningless terms for not agreeing with you.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Maybe I should try this approach myself. Here's a research paper for you to read which demonstrates that avian pulmonary systems were designed:

    Basic avian pulmonary design and flow-through
    ventilation in non-avian theropod dinosaurs


    There you have it. Scientific research. Keep in mind that you're not allowed to critique the article to determine whether it actually supports my position. If you do I'll just say, 'I showed him scientific research and now it's not good enough for him!' You see, if my paper fails to make my point, I'll blame you for it! Why didn't I catch on to this sooner?

    ReplyDelete
  96. Hi, badwiring,

    Nice reference, but where does it explain how the designer did it?*

    ----------------
    *Not a critique.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Pedant,

    (I'm just kidding here.) What?! I sent you research and all you do is say it's not good enough! Find your own research!!

    That's my point. If we can post research papers that don't support what we're saying and then yell at others for pointing it out, then I might as well, too.

    ReplyDelete
  98. badwiring: How does a change to a single gene produce a benefit that's going to increase a creature's chance of survival? It's just as likely to get picked off by a predator as the next rodent.

    An organism with better hearing, especially a nocturnal animal with increased sensitivity at high frequencies, will have a survival advantage over one of less acute hearing. Whether predator or prey, an organism that can hear the crinkling of a dried leaf will tend to leave more offspring than one that can only sense low-frequency thuds transmitted through the ground.

    badwiring: And going a step further, there's the problem that nothing could evolve serially, as one beneficial mutation at a time was selected and fixed in the population, followed by another and another. That would suggest that the mutations were actually coordinating with one another to reach a target. And, it doesn't leave enough time in the history of the earth for very much to evolve.

    The small changes involved don't have to be coordinated or planned, as we can see by looking the historical transition. Each step adds an improvement to hearing, and that's all that matters in the long run. It can be something as simple as a more tenuous connection between the ossicle and the jaw, allowing the ossicle to more easily vibrate. This is seen in Yanoconodon, for instance.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Badwiring: That's my point. If we can post research papers that don't support what we're saying and then yell at others for pointing it out, then I might as well, too.

    Badwiring,

    Again, I'd ask: What scientific conclusions have we reached by direct observation, rather than observations of their supposed effect?

    ReplyDelete
  100. Venture Free,

    "It's impossible to make someone understand something when the fate of their very soul depends on not understanding it."

    It is a poor educator indeed who blames his inability to educate on his students. You're failure to convince people is not due to their fear over the fate of their souls, it's due to your utter lack of evidence to support your position. Not everyone who rejects the idea of evolution is religious and as such your comment on their fearing for the fate of their souls is totally moot as an argument.

    I suppose now we will hear about the mountains of evidence which prove evolution and how, if I wasn't so lazy or ignorant, I would be convinced of the fact of evolution.

    The fact of the matter is I used to think like you. It was investigation of the evidence which changed my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Venture Free,

    "You're failure to convince..." That should be 'Your failure to convince...'

    ReplyDelete
  102. Zachriel,

    You're repeating your statement without addressing the objection. Of course better hearing helps an animal to survive. But better hearing requires a number of modifications, not just one. So how does selection preserve that single modification until the other ones come along? How does that one tiny modification have so great an impact when so many factors determine whether one individual survives and reproduces?
    I don't think anyone would doubt that better hearing improves survivability. Stating that does nothing to explain how that hearing comes about. Neither does stating that it occurred in incremental steps. It sounds like an explanation, but only until you scratch the surface. In truth it explains nothing.

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  103. Again, I'd ask: What scientific conclusions have we reached by direct observation, rather than observations of their supposed effect?

    I'd say in this case that the effects are nearly all we have to go on. We're attempting to determine history. So we have to be realistic in what we can expect.
    But whatever we hypothesize, whether it's specific or vague, must be consistent with known observations. Otherwise it's not science. That's doesn't make it good or bad. Science isn't everything. But if our hypothesis contradicts our existing body of knowledge, then it isn't science.
    ID is vague, and that infuriates some people. It draws the conclusion that some things must have been designed, and nothing else. It explains nothing specific. But it is consistent with our observation that all complex, functional systems of known origin were designed, with no exceptions.
    Darwinism, on the other hand, flies in the face of that significant observation. No, we've never seen unguided, unassisted natural processes design enhancements for themselves or use blueprints to reproduce themselves. The only such systems of known origin were designed. But we're going to reject that observation and proceed from an assumption that runs contrary to all that we know.

    Not speaking of you, but I know that many peoples' eyes glaze over when I mention complex, functional systems. What a tired, old, argument. But it's a huge problem for darwinism. The challenge has not been met. Nature is full of components that require multiple coordinated parts plus a specific behavior in order to have any benefit. There is no evidence that RM+NS can assemble such things. (I'd mention common sense too, but some people frown on common sense.)

    ReplyDelete
  104. Badwiring: That would suggest that the mutations were actually coordinating with one another to reach a target. And, it doesn't leave enough time in the history of the earth for very much to evolve.

    Evolutionary techniques have been use to evolve an un-clocked FPGA (programmable logic chip) to distinguish between two distinct audio tones. There was no coordination. However, the resulting gate layout ended up exploiting indirect connections based on proximity with hardware specific aspects of the chip itself.

    This sort of dependency is what one would expect as evolutionary processes do not exhibit foreknowledge of being transferred to different FPGA hardware with different physical properties.

    To use an analogy, it's as if a car was designed to put the battery and the starter motor in just the right proximity with each other so the magnetic fields from these specific parts would induct power for some minor system without requiring a cable.

    Making the design of the car hinge on the particular location and version of these parts would make it difficult to swap out a battery or starter with different induction profiles. You'd need to move the compensate to compensate, if that were even possible, etc.

    In other words, cars designed by human beings avoid these sort of dependencies since they exhibit foreknowledge about future models and replacement part variation.

    But in the chip designed using evolutionary algorithms, no such coordination or foreknowledge exists. The resulting design worked, but exploited aspects of the chip's hardware in ways that result in undesired dependencies. The resulting design is "good enough"

    On the Orign of Circuits

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  105. I said that effects are nearly all we have to go on because there have been attempts to observe evolution in action.
    For years populations of E.Coli have been grown, separated, and grown more to see what sort of diversity arises. Various pressures were applied. More generations of E.Coli have been observed than all the generations of mammals that ever lived on earth. That's enough generations to go from mouse to whale and giraffe and human.
    So what was observed? Minor variations within the kind. After all that, nothing that wasn't instantly recognizable as E.Coli.

    I don't mean to read too much into the results, but is this what evolution predicts, that living things will change but only within their kind? Or is there a reason why it would predict enormous biological diversity in some cases but virtually none in this case. The theory that explains everything explains nothing.

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  106. Scott

    Evolutionary techniques have been use to evolve an un-clocked FPGA (programmable logic chip) to distinguish between two distinct audio tones. There was no coordination. However, the resulting gate layout ended up exploiting indirect connections based on proximity with hardware specific aspects of the chip itself.

    I've read about this. Do you know where they found it? They didn't. They designed it. They created the specific environment in which a relatively limited number of possible changes were tested. Then they tested the fitness of the solutions in a predetermined manner which didn't rely on random outcomes or competition which could 'fight back' against progress.

    It's not a bad idea, but it's inspired by the speculative stories of how evolution works. There's no indication that it is an indication of their accuracy. And it certainly isn't a demonstration of what can occur without intelligent, purposeful input.

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  107. badwiring: You're repeating your statement without addressing the objection. Of course better hearing helps an animal to survive. But better hearing requires a number of modifications, not just one.

    That is incorrect, and we pointed to one.

    Zachriel: It can be something as simple as a more tenuous connection between the ossicle and the jaw, allowing the ossicle to more easily vibrate. This is seen in Yanoconodon, for instance.


    So we have a species and there is natural variation in the ossification of the connecting tissue between the ossicle and the jaw. Some of these organisms will have less ossification, and those organisms will have hearing that is more sensitive at higher frequencies. And that's the difference between hearing or not hearing a prey or predator who is trying to quietly walk, but who steps on a leaf. The difference between having lunch to being lunch.

    badwiring: How does that one tiny modification have so great an impact when so many factors determine whether one individual survives and reproduces?

    One hears the predator approach. The other doesn't. One hears the prey. The other doesn't.

    badwiring: That's enough generations to go from mouse to whale and giraffe and human. So what was observed? Minor variations within the kind.

    From mouse to whale or giraffe to human. They're still mammals! It's nothing but microevolution!

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  108. Badwiring: I'd say in this case that the effects are nearly all we have to go on.

    No, that's the fallacy I'm referring to.

    For example, how can we know we actually exist in a heliocentric universe? We do not directly observe anything, let alone planets that exist beyond the earth's atmosphere. We observe their effects. This includes the photons bouncing off objects, which we don't even observe for what they really are - electrical impulses which are translated by our brains.

    For example, it's possible that, in reality, the earth is surrounded by a giant planetarium that merely presents a highly elaborate simulation of a heliocentric solar system, including bouncing back photons and radio waves, fake telemetry and even returning space craft missing just the right amount of fuel and astronauts with implanted memories of collecting fake moon rocks, etc.

    One could make the same claim regarding any research paper based on NASA research as it could all be part of an elaborate simulation by some mysterious designer with some mysterious goal. We cannot rule this out with 100% certainty, either.

    Badwiring: ID is vague, and that infuriates some people. It draws the conclusion that some things must have been designed, and nothing else. It explains nothing specific. But it is consistent with our observation that all complex, functional systems of known origin were designed, with no exceptions.

    No, you're actually being, well, vague about the problem with the current crop of ID.

    For example, while might not be obvious to you, we have a rational and objective way to discard the giant planetarium theory: It fails to actually explain the night sky. If it's a simulation, then what exactly is the simulation of in the first place? What is it modeled after? Why does the simulation display planets here rather than there?

    My hypothetical theory doesn't provide any explanation, per se. Instead, it just "explains" why the current explanation appears to be true, but is supposedly false. That's just what the simulation simulates.

    However, in doing so, it "spoils" our existing explanations without providing replacements. In fact, It's essentially an explanation as to why replacement explanations are impossible due to the nature of the explanation itself (a simulation of a heliocentric universe)

    We can say the same about the current crop of ID.

    It doesn't actually explain the biological complexity we observe. Rather it attempts to re-assign the cause to a designer, while failing to actually explain the concrete complexity we observe in the process.

    Furthermore, it claims the cause (an "abstract designer") is unexplainable, so no replacement explanations are possible.

    As such, we can say that both of these "theories" represent convoluted elaborations of the current theories, respectively. We discard them as explanations, despite the fact that we cant rule them out as possibilities.

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  109. Furthermore, it claims the cause (an "abstract designer") is unexplainable, so no replacement explanations are possible.

    Actually that's just something said to make ID sound like a "science stopper." ID makes no such claim.

    ReplyDelete
  110. badwiring: That's enough generations to go from mouse to whale and giraffe and human. So what was observed? Minor variations within the kind.

    Badwiring,

    The problem here is that your objections appear to be arbitrary.

    Again, all we observe are the effects, not the cause. As such, one could object to a claim that even minor variations are not designed down to the last detail.

    What appear to be random mutations could be intentionally designed and planed mutations - each and every one one them. We cannot rule this out with 100% certainty either.

    However, again, we lack an explanation as to why a designer would make the specific mutations we observe, in the specific order, etc. As such, we discard this theory as well.

    Note that I'm not saying there isn't a difference between things in the past and observations we make today. Instead, I'm saying that in both cases, what we actually use to justify concussions of any sort is the quality of it's underlying explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Actually that's just something said to make ID sound like a "science stopper." ID makes no such claim.

    Badwiring,

    Can we know how this designer managed to change just the genes he wanted, while leaving the rest unchanged? Can we know what method the designer used to determine exactly which genes to change to get the desired results? Is it possible to know how the designer coordinated all of the results for every organism to end up with the functioning eco-system we observed?

    Note, I'm not asking if we can know these answers in practice, but I'm asking if we can know in principle.

    Furthermore, if it were true that a designer did all of these things above, in reality, this would re-assign the cause to this designer - negating the existing explanation that evolution provides in the process.

    What we're left with is the claim that "a designer did it" in just the way that happens to make it appear *as if* the explanation it displaced (evolution) was true, but is actually false.

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  112. Scott,

    How can the a designer replace the "existing explanation evolution provides" when that explanation does not exist? The only explanation is, "It evolved, details TBD."

    How could a designer make it look like evolution did it when no one can say what that looks like?

    A better question is how did something with no intelligence produce what shows foresight and intellect and appears to be designed, over and over and over?

    Neither position gives the specifics or details. But when comparing the two you accept that omission only in the case of the one that actually claims to provide them.

    Rather than determining how living things came about and then concluding that the cause is undirected, you have gone backwards. First you conclude that the cause must have been undirected and then you continually search for the mechanism or explanation that can meet that requirement. It's Bizarro science.

    My understanding is humbler, but it's supported by observation and evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Zachriel,

    One hears the predator approach. The other doesn't. One hears the prey. The other doesn't.

    Actually you are repeating yourself. What you describe is going to happen based on a single mutation? One mutation confers such great advantage?
    And then the specimen bearing it doesn't die or otherwise fail to reproduce because of any of a plethora of reasons that have nothing to do with hearing?

    What you're describing is an enormous self-created Rube Goldberg device.

    It sounds simple. Mutation. Better hearing. Hears predator. Survives. Reproduces.
    But when you dig past that simplicity and face the reality of what has to happen, it's not really plausible.

    That problem can and has been solved as well, though. Simply eliminate concepts such as plausibility. Exclude them from your reasoning. Don't think in terms of what could have happened, only what must have happened. After all, the conclusion is predetermined, so reality has no choice but to conform.

    ReplyDelete
  114. badwiring: But when you dig past that simplicity and face the reality of what has to happen, it's not really plausible.

    But you're not digging. You're repeatedly ignoring while waving your hands. There are a number of evolutionary changes, each leading to an improvement in hearing. First, a partial separation of the ossicles from the jaw due to a small angular change, seen in Yanoconodon, then the reabsorption of the connecting (Meckel's) cartilage in later organisms. Each change allows the ossicles to vibrate more freely. And being able to hear high frequency sounds is a huge advantage, especially for nocturnal animals, both as predator and as prey.

    Do you have a substantive comment?

    ReplyDelete
  115. badwiring said...

    How can the a designer replace the "existing explanation evolution provides" when that explanation does not exist? The only explanation is, "It evolved, details TBD."


    Does it make you feel better about yourself to keep repeating this lie? We show you detail after detail after detail, like the paper with evidence for avian lung evolutionary development, and all you can do is bawl NUH UH!

    Simple fact is, the only danger to science from willfully ignorant lumps like you, Tedford, Gary, etc. is when you try to sneak your idiocy into public science classes. Other than that you're just entertainment. What fascinates me is the psychological angle, why otherwise reasonable people can reject scientific findings that are accepted and productively used by 99.9% of all science and industry. Worse part is, you do it without bothering to learn about or understand in the least what you're attacking.

    Is it fear that motivates you? Or is it a knee-jerk reaction to anyone who threatens the Biblical beliefs you were taught as a child? You can't provide any technical reasons to reject the evidence or conclusions, just your ignorance based personal incredulity. So why do you attack things you don't understand?

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  116. Thornton,

    You give yourself way too much credit by thinking you could threaten anyone's beliefs about anything. Maybe some of the more intelligent responders, but definitely not you.
    I'm astounded that you keep repeating that the papers you've posted support what you think they do. Do you think you get brownie points for posting a link?
    And then you take offense when I point it out. I'm supposed to say, 'Golly gee, Thornton posted a link, I'll just fall over. I shouldn't hurt his feelings by posting a thoughtful response to its contents.'
    (Did you call me 'otherwise reasonable?' Gee, thanks.)
    What gives you away is that when someone doesn't cave, you resort to the most childlike behavior (while simultaneously accusing the other person of such.)
    Who's trying to sneak what into science classes? ID researchers explicitly oppose it so that the discussion can remain scientific and not become political. But I forget, you believe everything you read, including that there are mountains of evidence, and that anyone who disagrees must be ignorant or stupid.
    Thornton, you typify religious dogmatism. You're no different than someone kissing the feet on a statue.

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  117. badwiring said...

    Scott

    Evolutionary techniques have been use to evolve an un-clocked FPGA (programmable logic chip) to distinguish between two distinct audio tones. There was no coordination. However, the resulting gate layout ended up exploiting indirect connections based on proximity with hardware specific aspects of the chip itself.

    I've read about this. Do you know where they found it? They didn't. They designed it. They created the specific environment in which a relatively limited number of possible changes were tested. Then they tested the fitness of the solutions in a predetermined manner which didn't rely on random outcomes or competition which could 'fight back' against progress.


    If you read about it you certainly didn't understand it. The final circuits weren't specifically "designed" by humans. All humans did was set up the operational conditions for an iterative feedback process that maintained heritable variations based on competition, supplied a selection pressure, then let the process run.

    The complex results were solely the result of the random change + selection process. The same process that is empirically observed in biological evolution.

    The evolutionary algorithm process works so well in coming up with unique complex designs that it has been used for hundreds of industrial applications. NASA even has a whole division dedicated to evolvable systems.

    How long do you plan to keep attacking things you don't understand?

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  118. Thorton:

    I didn't see anything inthe article addressing the point I made about the parts of the ear requiring a very precise shape and position.

    ReplyDelete
  119. badwiring said...

    Thornton,

    You give yourself way too much credit by thinking you could threaten anyone's beliefs about anything. Maybe some of the more intelligent responders, but definitely not you.


    Of course not me personally. You're threatened by the science you don't understand. You're scared spitless because you think it undermines your religious teachings. So you blindly attack.

    I'm astounded that you keep repeating that the papers you've posted support what you think they do. Do you think you get brownie points for posting a link?

    Not with you because you're too lazy to bother reading them. But with everyone else reading so when you bluster and say there is no evidence for evolution, I can produce the evidence. I am also quite willing and able to discuss the technical points involved. That's the value, demonstrating your abject ignorance of the resources available.

    And then you take offense when I point it out. I'm supposed to say, 'Golly gee, Thornton posted a link, I'll just fall over. I shouldn't hurt his feelings by posting a thoughtful response to its contents.'

    I don't take offense at all. I actually find willful ignorance like yours rather sad.

    (Did you call me 'otherwise reasonable?' Gee, thanks.)
    What gives you away is that when someone doesn't cave, you resort to the most childlike behavior (while simultaneously accusing the other person of such.)


    I don't expect anyone to 'cave', but I do expect the intellectual honesty to at least admit evidence exists where you say there is none. But you're too afraid and can't even do that.

    Who's trying to sneak what into science classes? ID researchers explicitly oppose it so that the discussion can remain scientific and not become political.

    Right. That's why we had the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, because IDCers didn't want their claims taught in public schools.

    But I forget, you believe everything you read, including that there are mountains of evidence, and that anyone who disagrees must be ignorant or stupid.

    Big difference is I've actually read and understand the evidence, worked with it hands on in the lab, seen it empirically verified. All you do is regurgitate talking points from Creationist sites.

    Thornton, you typify religious dogmatism. You're no different than someone kissing the feet on a statue.

    Aaah, I love the smell of Creationist empty blustering rhetoric in the morning!

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  120. box of rocks schuster said...

    Thorton:

    I didn't see anything inthe article addressing the point I made about the parts of the ear requiring a very precise shape and position.


    That's because hearing doesn't require a very precise shape and position. You can modify the shape and position of the parts quite a bit and still have hearing, just with different performance.

    I'm making bets with myself on how long you stick with this latest 'what good is half an eye' stupidity. When you get a dumb idea in your craw, the over/under is about two weeks before you let it go.

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  121. natschuster: I didn't see anything inthe article addressing the point I made about the parts of the ear requiring a very precise shape and position.

    Because the precision can evolve from a less functional system, even one where the ossicles are still connected to other bones.

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  122. Zachriel,

    Do you have a substantive comment?

    Why would I stop offering substantive comments now?
    Again, you provide a very high-level view. There's a change, it provides better hearing, it survives, and poof!
    The devil is in the details, and there are lots of details.
    First, no one knows what genetic modification would be required to effect even one step in such a process.
    And as before, you have glossed over the glaring issue that one tiny genetic step toward a more significant change may not even provide any survival benefit. Numerous other factors, including random chance, are far more likely to influence survival than a single mutation.

    Everyone likes the simple birds-eye version with incremental mutations and selection, but no one wants to answer the difficult questions. I've only raised a few objections. There are many more.

    Confirmation bias requires that you dismiss these obstacles, revert to your birds-eye view, and conclude that I'm wrong and my objections aren't substantial. You have faith that all questions will be answered in time. Why draw conclusions based on the evidence we have when we can look to the evidence we're certain to find? Darwin bless you.

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  123. Thornton,

    I'm making bets with myself on how long you stick with this latest 'what good is half an eye' stupidity.

    Nice strawman argument. 50% vision is better than none. A better question is, what good is the very first incremental step in the development of an eye? The darwinist story is that it will confer an advantage and thus get selected.

    But will it confer an advantage? That's one question. Will it get selected? That's another. You just gloss over that without delving into the specifics. People who ask those questions are smart. People who ridicule them are, well, darwinists.

    Take 1,000 ordinary field mice. Is it reasonable that they all see, hear, smell, react, and run exactly the same? Of course not. Each is varied from the other and has variations in each of these abilities.
    So which is selected? The one that sees better, the one that smells better, the one that reacts faster, or the one that runs faster? Any one of these traits can result in the life or death of a mouse or its offspring.
    Darwinim depends on the tiniest incremental change to just one of these traits, or many more, resulting in increased survival. But given the number of factors involved, what reason is there to think that one tiny change would be the deciding factor? The dice are more likely to decide.

    I know you're angry. It shows in your comments. Everyone who reads can see you losing your grip. What are you so angry about? You should really talk to someone.

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  124. I know you're angry. It shows in your comments. Everyone who reads can see you losing your grip. What are you so angry about? You should really talk to someone.


    Awww, the concern troll. Isn't it precious?

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  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  126. Are you incapable of looking at a single variable in complete isolation, ignoring all other variables that could possibly have an effect?

    I blame my scientific training.

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  127. Why do darwinists always change the subject? Every time we point out that variation leads to an over-abundance of deleterious features, you start talking about natural selection. Then when we point out that natural selection can only remove features from the gene pool and can't generate new features in any way, you switch back to variation. And when we point out that half an eye would get you immediately eaten by all the other creatures, you start talking about how much or how little the other creatures would have evolved. Are you incapable of looking at a single variable in complete isolation, ignoring all other variables that could possibly have an effect? Because that's just unscientific, man.

    (sorry...had to fix a misspelling, hence Pedants reply before my comments)

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  128. No problem:

    Are you incapable of looking at a single variable in complete isolation, ignoring all other variables that could possibly have an effect?

    I blame my scientific training.

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  129. badwiring said...

    Zachriel: Do you have a substantive comment?

    Why would I stop offering substantive comments now?


    You haven't started yet.

    Again, you provide a very high-level view. There's a change, it provides better hearing, it survives, and poof!
    The devil is in the details, and there are lots of details.


    Yep. We keep providing them, you keep hand-waving them away.

    First, no one knows what genetic modification would be required to effect even one step in such a process.

    Sigh...another claim from your ignorance that just isn't true. For example, we know the genetic changes that cause elongation in a bat's fingers, turning a hand into a wing:

    Development of bat flight: Morphologic and molecular evolution of bat wing digits
    Sears et al
    PNAS April 25, 2006 vol. 103 no. 17 6581-6586

    Abstract: The earliest fossil bats resemble their modern counterparts in possessing greatly elongated digits to support the wing membrane, which is an anatomical hallmark of powered flight. To quantitatively confirm these similarities, we performed a morphometric analysis of wing bones from fossil and modern bats. We found that the lengths of the third, fourth, and fifth digits (the primary supportive elements of the wing) have remained constant relative to body size over the last 50 million years. This absence of transitional forms in the fossil record led us to look elsewhere to understand bat wing evolution. Investigating embryonic development, we found that the digits in bats (Carollia perspicillata) are initially similar in size to those of mice (Mus musculus) but that, subsequently, bat digits greatly lengthen. The developmental timing of the change in wing digit length points to a change in longitudinal cartilage growth, a process that depends on the relative proliferation and differentiation of chondrocytes. We found that bat forelimb digits exhibit relatively high rates of chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. We show that bone morphogenetic protein 2 (Bmp2) can stimulate cartilage proliferation and differentiation and increase digit length in the bat embryonic forelimb. Also, we show that Bmp2 expression and Bmp signaling are increased in bat forelimb embryonic digits relative to mouse or bat hind limb digits. Together, our results suggest that an up-regulation of the Bmp pathway is one of the major factors in the developmental elongation of bat forelimb digits, and it is potentially a key mechanism in their evolutionary elongation as well.


    There is a whole new field of research, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo for short) that studied such things.

    Please, quit embarrassing yourself and do at least a tiny bit of research before you post.

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  130. badwiring said...

    I know you're angry. It shows in your comments. Everyone who reads can see you losing your grip. What are you so angry about? You should really talk to someone.


    Why shouldn't I be angry? Liars make me angry. Willfully ignorant fools who conduct unsupported attacks on science, who attack the competence and integrity of me and my professional colleagues make me angry.

    If you don't like to be called on your lies and stupidity, stop posting lies and stupidity.

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  131. Badwiring,

    Darwinim depends on the tiniest incremental change to just one of these traits, or many more, resulting in increased survival. But given the number of factors involved, what reason is there to think that one tiny change would be the deciding factor? The dice are more likely to decide

    The house edge in blackjack in Las Vegas is .28% . Therefore according to the badwired theorem it is impossible for them to make much money from blackjack.So in real life a slight edge over a large number of occurrences is a
    large number . So for the mice they don't have to outrun the predator they just have outrun the slow mice

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  132. velikovskys,

    "So for the mice they don't have to outrun the predator they just have to outrun the slow mice."

    But perhaps the slow mice have better eyesight, hearing or sense of smell and can detect the predator sooner and thus can start running sooner. As such they do not need to be as fast because they have a big head start on the fast mice who maybe don't hear, etc., as well. So again,the question is what is selected for, speed, better eyesight, better hearing, better sense of smell?

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  133. Thornton,

    I told you before to read stuff before you posted, and you didn't listen. Now I'm going to have to hurt your feelings again.

    We found that bat forelimb digits exhibit relatively high rates of chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. We show that bone morphogenetic protein 2 (Bmp2) can stimulate cartilage proliferation and differentiation and increase digit length in the bat embryonic forelimb. Also, we show that Bmp2 expression and Bmp signaling are increased in bat forelimb embryonic digits relative to mouse or bat hind limb digits. Together, our results suggest that an up-regulation of the Bmp pathway is one of the major factors in the developmental elongation of bat forelimb digits

    Thanks for the all the bold type. I'll return the favor. Proteins aren't genes. You're describing the effect, not the cause. What's in the genes is used to create the proteins. That's just describing what exists in greater detail, not explaining how it got that way.
    There's a protein that makes limbs longer. Its use is increased in the forelimbs of bats compared to the limbs of mice or the rear limbs of bats. (You see, I really do read this.) That appears to explain much of why bats fore limbs are longer than their rear limbs or those of mice. It's an explanation of their present state, not a description of the path from A to Z.

    The paper doesn't fail to explain any genetic changes or how they occurred. It's not attempting to. I'm not criticizing the paper. It simply isn't about that.

    But you probably Googled a lot of papers before you came up with this one, and you feel that it should be credited as evidence whether or not it addresses the question. You may now commence blaming me for that. Feel free to use "NUH UH" again because it's so mature.

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  134. Thorton:

    If a human has a misshapen inner ear bone, it results in severe hearing loss. This would seem to indicate that the shape has to be precise.

    Again, I'm not talking about irreducible complexity. I'm talking the chances of getting something just the precise shape.

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  135. Otitis media can be seriou because it can cause bone loss in the middle ear, which results in hearing loss.

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  136. badwiring: And as before, you have glossed over the glaring issue that one tiny genetic step toward a more significant change may not even provide any survival benefit.

    In fact, we pointed to two small changes, well within the range of natural variation, each of which would confer a significant advantage.

    badwiring: given the number of factors involved, what reason is there to think that one tiny change would be the deciding factor? The dice are more likely to decide.

    You do understand that the relationship between chance and selection has a mathematical and observational basis. We would be interested to see if you can quantify the relationship.

    natschuster: If a human has a misshapen inner ear bone, it results in severe hearing loss. This would seem to indicate that the shape has to be precise.

    That's the whole point. The shapes and relationships between the bones changed over time. They used to be jaw bones that transmitted sound to the middle ear, and they didn't work very well, at least not by mammalian standards.

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  137. In order to work as a reptilian ear, didn't they need to have a certain shape, and be in a certain position? To work as mammalian ears they have to ahve a different shape, and be in a different position. How did they just wind up in the right place with the precise right shape? Just lucky?

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  138. Zachriel,

    You do understand that the relationship between chance and selection has a mathematical and observational basis. We would be interested to see if you can quantify the relationship.

    Not on the scale we're talking about, no, it doesn't. The scale is both too large (significant improvement or invention of function) and too small (individual genetic changes in animals.)

    You can attempt to sample the DNA of a population over time and observe the changes, but that leaves only the tautology that whatever changes occurred must have been selected. You still have to guess at why they changed.

    That's a fair question, whether I know the probabilities. I don't, and I'm not going to google for something I've read in the past on the subject. (Okay, I might.)

    At the same time, the paper doesn't lend itself to mathematical analysis because it doesn't say anything specific enough. How do you calculate the probabilities of a series of steps being completed without the steps?

    That's what's amazing. The vagueness and lack of detail in these stories becomes their strength. How do you critically analyze what has no specifics? It can overcome any objection by alterations or additions to the narrative. That's not science changing to fit new evidence. It's just creative writing.

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  139. Gerry,

    So again,the question is what is selected for, speed, better eyesight, better hearing, better sense of smell?

    Sounds like a good research topic, I think that is what science is about,actually manipulating conditions. Maybe Thorton knows mice guys. First it seems like the environment they live in ,type of predator , how much energy each avoidance scheme uses. Are they nocturnal ? How fast do they breed? And then when you are done annoying the mice, maybe you look for a connection to other research or how it fits in the existing paradigm. My guess a big thrill would be to find an unexpected result. Now I am no biologist but I hear they are almost like normal people.

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  140. Nat,

    How did they just wind up in the right place with the precise right shape? Just lucky?

    Nat,my dogs hear lots better the I do,maybe human ears aren't in the right place with right shape,maybe they are just ok. And certainly they are not " designed " to last, as any seasoned citizen will tell you. Do you really think the human body couldn't be improved?

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  141. Bad wiring:

    How do you calculate the probabilities of a series of steps being completed without the steps?

    Ironically,you just shot down CH's argument . He guesses at what he thinks the steps are and pronounces it impossible.

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  142. Ironically,you just shot down CH's argument . He guesses at what he thinks the steps are and pronounces it impossible.
    So CH attempts to fill in the gaps in the theory to make it testable and you find fault with that? And if you don't fill in the gaps then someone else faults you for that. Wow.

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  143. badwiring said...

    Thanks for the all the bold type. I'll return the favor. Proteins aren't genes. You're describing the effect, not the cause. What's in the genes is used to create the proteins. That's just describing what exists in greater detail, not explaining how it got that way.

    There's a protein that makes limbs longer. Its use is increased in the forelimbs of bats compared to the limbs of mice or the rear limbs of bats. (You see, I really do read this.) That appears to explain much of why bats fore limbs are longer than their rear limbs or those of mice. It's an explanation of their present state, not a description of the path from A to Z.

    The paper doesn't fail to explain any genetic changes or how they occurred.


    LOL! Once again you were too lazy to read the actual paper, and only read he abstract because I provided it.

    From the paper:

    "Several studies (10, 11–15) have shown that major morphological transitions can be accommodated by a few key developmental genetic changes. Here, we provide functional and molecular comparisons of the development of the forelimb digits of the short-tailed fruit bat Carollia perspicillata with the digits of the bat hind limb and the digits of the forelimb of a more generalized quadruped, the mouse Mus musculus. Using these data, we identified uniquely derived developmental features of bat wing digits. Doing so allows us to highlight a key developmental genetic change and suggest evolutionary mechanisms underlying bat digit elongation. "

    You are still willfully ignorant, unabashedly clueless. Come up to speed on the subject and then we can talk.

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  144. box of rocks schuster said...

    Thorton:

    If a human has a misshapen inner ear bone, it results in severe hearing loss. This would seem to indicate that the shape has to be precise.


    No, all it indicates is that if the parts are catastrophically out of shape the result is severe hearing loss. There are still lots of intermediate shapes that will allow hearing, even if not at 100% optimum level.

    A similar example would be a mutation that causes you to be born with severely withered femur, making it impossible to run. That doesn't mean only people with legs like Usian Bolt can run. There are lots of different leg shapes (long femurs, short femurs, thick heavy femurs, etc) that can still run fine, just not as fast.

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  145. Vel:

    To he best of my knowledge, dogs hear better than us because of differences in the cochlea, not the middle ear bones. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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  146. Thornton:

    Doing so allows us to highlight a key developmental genetic change and suggest evolutionary mechanisms underlying bat digit elongation

    Is it news that a difference in protein expression would follow a genetic change? That seems fairly obvious.
    Did bats get their wings from a single genetic change?
    Most importantly, what caused the genetic change and how was it selected?
    I'm repeatedly accused of scoffing at 'overwhelming evidence.' Well, this is exactly the reason why.
    All the paper does is show that bats and rodents have different forelimbs due to different proteins due to different genes.
    Here's news: The difference between every single living thing and every other living thing is different proteins due to different genes.
    Pointing that out is not an explanation of how those different genes and proteins came about. That's the question, not the answer.

    You can't even see yourself assuming your conclusion. You see a difference in genes and proteins as evidence of darwinian evolution, when in fact those differences are exactly what you are attempting to explain. It's circular and insulated from reason.

    This is what your 'mountain of evidence' is made of. Of course, it's my fault. You may now go off on another 'but I showed you research' rant.

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  147. natschuster: In order to work as a reptilian ear, didn't they need to have a certain shape, and be in a certain position?

    Do you think that every person's or every mammal's ossicles are exactly the same shape and size?

    natschuster: To work as mammalian ears they have to ahve a different shape, and be in a different position. How did they just wind up in the right place with the precise right shape?

    They evolved from jaw bones, and throughout the process, they transmitted sound to the inner ear. There are lots of configurations that work well enough, some better than others.

    Zachriel: You do understand that the relationship between chance and selection has a mathematical and observational basis. We would be interested to see if you can quantify the relationship.

    badwiring: Not on the scale we're talking about, no, it doesn't. The scale is both too large (significant improvement or invention of function)

    That is incorrect. Even a small improvement can lead to large differences in reproductive success. A small angular change can result in much higher transmission of high-frequency sounds. A pimple on your nose can keep you from getting a date.

    badwiring: and too small (individual genetic changes in animals.)

    That is also incorrect. Small genetic changes can cause large phenotypic changes. For instance, a single genetic mutation can change the timing of the reabsorption of the Meckel's cartilage.

    badwiring: You can attempt to sample the DNA of a population over time and observe the changes, but that leaves only the tautology that whatever changes occurred must have been selected.

    When it was discovered that the structures in embryos that led to reptilian jaw bones led instead to ossicles in mammals, it was quite the conundrum. Yet, later fossil discoveries show that each step created a selectable improvement in hearing. Because of the strong surprisal of the results, it represents a strong confirmation of the hypothesis.

    badwiring: How do you calculate the probabilities of a series of steps being completed without the steps?

    We do have the steps. Liaoconodon hui provides another predicted glimpse of the history. In this case, the ossicles are detached from the jaw, but still stabilized by the cartilage.

    badwiring: The vagueness and lack of detail in these stories becomes their strength.

    The strength is in the details. What is amazing is that the embryological data predicted the paleontological decades before their discovery.

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  148. badwiring: Is it news that a difference in protein expression would follow a genetic change? That seems fairly obvious.

    This was your original complaint.

    badwiring: First, no one knows what genetic modification would be required to effect even one step in such a process.

    When pointed to how a single mutation can, indeed, bring about selectable changes, you changed your focus.

    badwiring: Did bats get their wings from a single genetic change?

    No. Each change led to other changes. A mammal evovles skin that allows it to glide between trees to feed at dusk. A longer phalanx bone improves the glide. Better high-frequency hearing allows the organism to hunt later into the evening. This in turn led to more changes in the wing. And so on.

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  149. A mammal evovles skin that allows it to glide between trees to feed at dusk.

    Again, these stories just never end, and they disregard the details.
    How does this work? Do mammals that cannot glide normally jump out of trees? Were they constantly jumping and dying so that when they evolved some extra skin, they could survive and get selected?
    Or did it go the other way - the mammal grows the extra skin, which has no benefit since it clings to the branch to avoid falling, and then another mutation makes it decide to jump out of trees?
    It's all hand-waving. How did it come about? "A mammal evolves skin."

    When pointed to how a single mutation can, indeed, bring about selectable changes

    later fossil discoveries show that each step created a selectable improvement in hearing.

    First, selection acts on individual genetic changes. Those cannot be determined from fossils. How, therefore, can fossils indicate selectable improvements?

    And again, you are assuming your conclusion. A 2005 Mercedes has selectable improvements over a 1999 model. Is that evidence that the changes resulted from natural selection?

    Of course, cars don't reproduce with variation. Living things do. But (a) noting an improvement and (b) calling it "selectable" clearly does not make evidence for natural selection. It makes a narrative, which, when analyzed, leads to countless unanswered questions about how variation and selection produce changes that require multiple variations to be selectable.

    I know that the words 'countless unanswered questions' make eyes glaze over. So it's a gap. We'll figure it out.
    That's confirmation bias. It's not a gap. It's a difference from each living thing to the next that RM+NS fails to explain. It's dead in its tracks if it doesn't bridge that gap. It's held up for now by its circular evidence of itself.

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  150. badwiring: Do mammals that cannot glide normally jump out of trees?

    Never seen a squirrel?

    badwiring: It's all hand-waving. How did it come about? "A mammal evolves skin."

    You asked about whether it was a single mutation, so we described the overall sequence. But that history is made up of individual steps, which you denied existed. In this case, we are examining the elongated phalanx in bats, and the detachment of ossicles in the mammalian middle ear.

    badwiring: How, therefore, can fossils indicate selectable improvements?

    It turns out that there is a science of sound, called acoustics, and we can determine from the fossils how each system of hearing worked. Not to mention that extant organisms show many of the intermediate characteristics.

    badwiring: A 2005 Mercedes has selectable improvements over a 1999 model. Is that evidence that the changes resulted from natural selection?

    The evidence indicates that automobiles are manufactured by a peculiar species of ape.

    badwiring: But (a) noting an improvement and (b) calling it "selectable" clearly does not make evidence for natural selection.

    Being able to examine homology in the embryonic forms of reptilian jaw bones and mammalian ossicles and *predicting* the placement and characteristics of fossil organisms, is exactly what is called scientific evidence.

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  151. badwiring said:

    "The difference between every single living thing and every other living thing is different proteins due to different genes.
    Pointing that out is not an explanation of how those different genes and proteins came about. That's the question, not the answer."

    Has it ever occurred to you that science is looking for the answers to all the questions of how everything, including genes and proteins, "came about" and that it takes time, money, and a lot of work? In the meantime, many questions have been answered.

    What has ID/creationism/religion ever figured out, besides how to separate people from their money, sanity, freedom, and lives.

    What scientific tests/experiments/research do YOU propose to find the answers to how everything, including genes and proteins, came about? What scientific tests/experiments/research are YOU doing to find the answers?

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  152. Zachriel,

    But that history is made up of individual steps, which you denied existed. In this case, we are examining the elongated phalanx in bats,

    Try elongating the phalanx of a rat and see if it flies. That's not an individual step.

    It turns out that there is a science of sound, called acoustics, and we can determine from the fossils how each system of hearing worked.

    You missed the question. I didn't ask how you can identify an improvement. That's the easy part. How do identify the individual, incremental, selectable improvements from fossils if they are single genetic changes?

    The evidence indicates that automobiles are manufactured by a peculiar species of ape.

    Which evidence? Automobile factories? If you only had the automobile but didn't know where it came from, would you start looking for an explanation that doesn't involve design?

    The implication, which again reveals pervasive bias, is that the natural occurrence of a living cell or ear or wing is plausible based on the most minimal, incomplete explanation, while design is a phenomenon that must be seen to be believed. That's not science, it's ideology.

    Being able to examine homology in the embryonic forms of reptilian jaw bones and mammalian ossicles and *predicting* the placement and characteristics of fossil organisms, is exactly what is called scientific evidence.

    Liaoconodon is not even considered to be an ancestor of modern mammals. When citing this as evidence of how mammalian ears evolved, why does no one mention that it's held to be on a separate branch, and that actual mammalian ears supposedly evolved separately? Isn't that an important detail?
    Confirmation bias is what allows a single new fossil find to be published in April and for it to be confirmation of long-held expectations in July despite being classified in another lineage.
    It's smoke and mirrors, except that the perpetrators are the ones who are convinced.

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  153. badwiring: Try elongating the phalanx of a rat and see if it flies. That's not an individual step.

    Rats are well-adapted to their own niche. An elongated phalanx would be a distinct disadvantage.

    badwiring: How do identify the individual, incremental, selectable improvements from fossils if they are single genetic changes?

    You seem to have developed an overwrought abstraction of evolution. Evolution doesn't always work from isolated mutations, but from populations of variations. Some taller, some slimmer, some with a more slender Meckel's cartilage.

    badwiring: Liaoconodon is not even considered to be an ancestor of modern mammals.

    Liaoconodon was a mammal.

    badwiring: When citing this as evidence of how mammalian ears evolved, why does no one mention that it's held to be on a separate branch, and that actual mammalian ears supposedly evolved separately?

    Rarely are fossils on a direct line. For instance, Archaeopteryx shows intermediate characteristics between dinosaurs and birds, but isn't on the direct line to modern birds.

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  154. Has it ever occurred to you that science is looking for the answers to all the questions of how everything, including genes and proteins, "came about" and that it takes time, money, and a lot of work? In the meantime, many questions have been answered.

    It's a bit like searching for buried treasure. You dig here, dig there, you do a lot of work. No one is denying that a lot of work is being done and money is being spent.

    The trouble is when we assume a priori where the answer will be found and only look there. We can research for centuries looking for an undirected, purposeless cause that creates and modifies life. And with all the work being done, it will be found. But only if it exists. If it doesn't then it won't be found.

    There's no basis for the a priori assumption that no intelligence was involved, and the more we know the more reason we have to stop assuming it. But as long as we cling to that assumption we risk looking for our keys under the streetlight forever when they are really somewhere else.

    It's okay to look. It's not okay to decide in advance what you expect to find.

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  155. Rats are well-adapted to their own niche. An elongated phalanx would be a distinct disadvantage.

    That rats are suited to their environment demonstrates that they were adapted to it. Circular.

    Rarely are fossils on a direct line. For instance, Archaeopteryx shows intermediate characteristics between dinosaurs and birds, but isn't on the direct line to modern birds.

    Then what is your basis for calling them 'intermediate characteristics?' Calling them intermediate assumes that there was a transition. Again, it's circular.

    Homology does not indicate descent (and I am not ruling out descent.) But more importantly it does not explain itself. It does not explain the characteristics that define it.

    And Liaoconodon's jaws and ears have nothing to do with those of any living mammals. By stating that fossils are rarely found in a straight line, you assume that they are found in lines, which again assumes the conclusion. And rather than concluding that the lack of direct lineage is an unfortunate lack of substantiation, we are expected to have faith that there is line to which all the branches connect.

    It's circular and biased from top to bottom.

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  156. badwiring: That rats are suited to their environment demonstrates that they were adapted to it. Circular.

    It wasn't circular, but a judgment. You are more than welcome to run the experiments yourself.

    badwiring: Then what is your basis for calling them 'intermediate characteristics?' Calling them intermediate assumes that there was a transition. Again, it's circular.

    They were predicted.

    badwiring: Homology does not indicate descent (and I am not ruling out descent.) But more importantly it does not explain itself. It does not explain the characteristics that define it.

    The homology of reptilian embryonic jaw bones to mammalian ossicles led to empirical predictions. Do you understand the scientific method?

    badwiring: And rather than concluding that the lack of direct lineage is an unfortunate lack of substantiation, we are expected to have faith that there is line to which all the branches connect.

    They fit the expected nested hierarchy.

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  157. What do you mean by "simple" and "complex"?

    There is no reason to think that life today is comparable in complexity to early life. Moreover, no one knows what early cells looked like, other than that they were likely simpler than today's products of billions of years of evolution.

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  158. Zachriel,

    How are these nested hierarchies defined? DNA produces any number of radically differing hierarchies. The prediction was that it would produce one.
    The answer? Just come up with reasons why DNA would be randomly scattered across the animal and plant kingdoms. Look, everything swapped genes. Now the failed prediction is just a new set of buzzwords and more research grants.

    I have no doubt that if one experimented on rats by placing them outside of their environment that might adversely affect this survival. This would demonstrate that they are suited to their environment. To both explain it with adaptation and use it as evidence of adaption is circular.

    A reptile with birdlike characteristics was predicted, but not in a lineage between reptiles and birds? Who predicts an intermediate that's not an intermediate, and how does that make it an intermediate?

    The homology of reptilian embryonic jaw bones to mammalian ossicles led to empirical predictions. Do you understand the scientific method?

    I understand that when someone claims that they predicted a fossil in one lineage with embryos from another, something is suspect. But it's not in your nature to suspect any evolutionary claims.

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  159. Bad wiring:

    So CH attempts to fill in the gaps in the theory to make it testable and you find fault with that? And if you don't fill in the gaps then someone else faults you for that.

    Don't be so hard on yourself ,I'm sure you didn't mean to find fault with CH,you were just trying to dismiss Zach's argument .

    It is not "not filling in the gaps " that someone might find fault with you, it is the shifting level of proof you seem to require. Proof on the other hand you don't require from ID. You stated a while back the there is an abundance of proof for design,got that handy?

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  160. badwiring said...

    Thornton:

    Doing so allows us to highlight a key developmental genetic change and suggest evolutionary mechanisms underlying bat digit elongation

    Is it news that a difference in protein expression would follow a genetic change? That seems fairly obvious.
    Did bats get their wings from a single genetic change?
    Most importantly, what caused the genetic change and how was it selected?
    I'm repeatedly accused of scoffing at 'overwhelming evidence.' Well, this is exactly the reason why.
    All the paper does is show that bats and rodents have different forelimbs due to different proteins due to different genes.
    Here's news: The difference between every single living thing and every other living thing is different proteins due to different genes.
    Pointing that out is not an explanation of how those different genes and proteins came about. That's the question, not the answer.


    It's really hard to have a conversation with someone as ignorant of basic scientific discovery as you. The bat paper above is not 'proof' of evolution all by itself. It's another piece that fits neatly into and is consilient with the big picture of ALL the evidence - the fossil record that shows when bats evolved, the other genetic and morphological evidence that shows bats and mice shared a common ancestor. It supplies one of those those nasty DETAILS that you are always whining about us not having, remember?

    I really shouldn't be surprised by your unscientific demand that every single paper show every single bit of evidence for evolution. That's a common strawman argument made by ignorant Creationists. Not honest, so ridiculous as to be laughable, but oh so common.

    For the lurkers, here is more evidence in the big pile for bat evolution: a 'transitional' bat that lived approx. 50MYA.

    Primitive Early Eocene bat from Wyoming and the evolution of flight and echolocation
    Simmons et al
    Nature 451, 818-821 (14 February 2008)

    Abstract: Bats (Chiroptera) represent one of the largest and most diverse radiations of mammals, accounting for one-fifth of extant species1. Although recent studies unambiguously support bat monophyly2, 3, 4 and consensus is rapidly emerging about evolutionary relationships among extant lineages5, 6, 7, 8, the fossil record of bats extends over 50 million years, and early evolution of the group remains poorly understood5, 7, 8, 9. Here we describe a new bat from the Early Eocene Green River Formation of Wyoming, USA, with features that are more primitive than seen in any previously known bat. The evolutionary pathways that led to flapping flight and echolocation in bats have been in dispute7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and until now fossils have been of limited use in documenting transitions involved in this marked change in lifestyle. Phylogenetically informed comparisons of the new taxon with other bats and non-flying mammals reveal that critical morphological and functional changes evolved incrementally. Forelimb anatomy indicates that the new bat was capable of powered flight like other Eocene bats, but ear morphology suggests that it lacked their echolocation abilities, supporting a ‘flight first’ hypothesis for chiropteran evolution. The shape of the wings suggests that an undulating gliding–fluttering flight style may be primitive for bats, and the presence of a long calcar indicates that a broad tail membrane evolved early in Chiroptera, probably functioning as an additional airfoil rather than as a prey-capture device. Limb proportions and retention of claws on all digits indicate that the new bat may have been an agile climber that employed quadrupedal locomotion and under-branch hanging behaviour.


    Go ahead badwiring, get those arms flapping and hand wave away more evidence and details without bothering to read it.

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  161. badwiring: How are these nested hierarchies defined? DNA produces any number of radically differing hierarchies. The prediction was that it would produce one.

    No. Most DNA strongly supports the canonical tree. It's only some genes which are anomalous, and some researchers have suggested that the root of the tree is more of a web, which still supports common descent.

    badwiring: A reptile with birdlike characteristics was predicted, but not in a lineage between reptiles and birds? Who predicts an intermediate that's not an intermediate, and how does that make it an intermediate?

    A transitional is not necessarily ancestral, but exhibits inherited traits expected at or near the point of divergence. Intermediates can be more derived.

    badwiring: I understand that when someone claims that they predicted a fossil in one lineage with embryos from another, something is suspect.

    Actually examination of embryos from both taxa, but what is "suspect"? You're not being clear. Either they predicted the fossil and its relative placement in the history of the transition, then found the fossil, or they didn't.

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  162. Nat,

    To he best of my knowledge, dogs hear better than us because of differences in the cochlea, not the middle ear bones.

    So we have a just so cochlea and we can still hear,maybe the middle ear bones would work the same.

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  163. Zachriel:

    Yes, different people have different sized ear ossicles, but they all have to be within certain parameters, or they don't work.

    And why is it that they never find the actual ancestors in the fossil record, just things that have an ancestral condition.

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  164. Vel:

    But we know that people wih mishapen inner ear bones have significant hearing loss. Its considered a handicapping condition.

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  165. natschuster said...

    But we know that people wih mishapen inner ear bones have significant hearing loss. Its considered a handicapping condition.


    We know people with severely misshapen thigh bones can't run or walk. It's considered a handicapping condition.

    So why aren't we all Olympic sprinters? Could it be a wide range of thighbone shapes still allow for a wide range of running/walking ability? Hearing, just like running/walking doesn't have to be perfect, it only needs to be good enough to still be useful.

    Think for once nat. I know it's an unnatural act for you, but think.

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  166. natschuster: And why is it that they never find the actual ancestors in the fossil record, just things that have an ancestral condition.

    The direct ancestor and an organism that is closely related to that ancestor are hard to tell apart, of course. The closer the relationship, the more difficult it is to make the distinction.

    natschuster: But we know that people wih mishapen inner ear bones have significant hearing loss. Its considered a handicapping condition.

    In some cases, they can only hear low-frequency sound without the high-frequencies. Like reptiles.

    natschuster:To he best of my knowledge, dogs hear better than us because of differences in the cochlea, not the middle ear bones.

    velikovskys: So we have a just so cochlea and we can still hear,maybe the middle ear bones would work the same.

    Don't forget the floppy ears!

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  167. Thornton,

    This is parting thought. I have other things to do.

    So why aren't we all Olympic sprinters? Could it be a wide range of thighbone shapes still allow for a wide range of running/walking ability? Hearing, just like running/walking doesn't have to be perfect, it only needs to be good enough to still be useful.

    We've spent how many posts discussing how the tiniest incremental change to hearing would be selected. Now, when it fits, you point out that as long as it's good enough, it gets selected. How convenient. It explains everything. Whatever exists was selected.

    You still don't get it with your bat article, just like with all the rest. It doesn't explain the changes. It also shows willful ignorance of the capacity for variation in living things. Look at dogs. The variations in the species would fill scientific journals if they occurred over time and fossilized. And yet they are all variations within a species. IOW, lots of shapes and sizes, but all dogs.

    You see compatible evidence as confirmation, and you reject any and all incompatible evidence. And it's not my job to fix you.

    I'll do you one favor, though, by pointing out that you are one rude kneebiter. Yeah, I get a little testy, I admit. But I feel genuine pity for anyone who has to be around you on a daily basis, especially if they happen to disagree with you. Thank God that I can choose to end this.

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  168. badwiring: We've spent how many posts discussing how the tiniest incremental change to hearing would be selected. Now, when it fits, you point out that as long as it's good enough, it gets selected.

    Your confusing two things. A wide variety of different shapes and configurations will work. But specific variations and the specific environment will determine whether there is selection for that trait.

    badwiring: It also shows willful ignorance of the capacity for variation in living things.

    Quite the opposite. Natural variation is the source material for evolution. And dogs are an excellent example. Humans did the selecting, but the variation arose naturally.

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  169. Thorton:

    Femurs still have to be within certain parameters, or they don't work well enough. The inner ear bones had to work well enough for a proto-mammal to, not only survive, but do a better job of surviving than the organisms with the transitional condition.

    Adn why do we have the archaeopteryx, and not the real ancestor of birds? Why do we have Titaalik, and not the real ancestor of tetrapods? And what about the real ancestor of mammals?

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  170. natschuster: Femurs still have to be within certain parameters, or they don't work well enough.

    That's right, but there is a wide variation in length, thickness, weight, and so on, and there are tradeoffs involved. A long slender femur may work in one situation, a short stout femur in another.

    natschuster: The inner ear bones had to work well enough for a proto-mammal to, not only survive, but do a better job of surviving than the organisms with the transitional condition.

    That's right, but the transitionals only have to work somewhat better than what came before.

    natschuster: Adn why do we have the archaeopteryx, and not the real ancestor of birds? Why do we have Titaalik, and not the real ancestor of tetrapods? And what about the real ancestor of mammals?

    We answered this. The direct ancestor and an organism that is closely related to that ancestor are hard to tell apart, of course. The closer the relationship, the more difficult it is to make the distinction. Even if you were looking right at the exact ancestor, it might be very difficult to know whether it was the ancestor, or just a close relative.

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  171. Why wouldn't we be able to tell the difference between a pigeon, and the real ancestor of birds?

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  172. badwiring said...

    Thornton,

    This is parting thought. I have other things to do.

    T: So why aren't we all Olympic sprinters? Could it be a wide range of thighbone shapes still allow for a wide range of running/walking ability? Hearing, just like running/walking doesn't have to be perfect, it only needs to be good enough to still be useful.

    We've spent how many posts discussing how the tiniest incremental change to hearing would be selected. Now, when it fits, you point out that as long as it's good enough, it gets selected. How convenient. It explains everything. Whatever exists was selected.


    Of course that's not what I said, or the context in which my statement was made. How Christian of you to lie and misrepresent my words.

    You still don't get it with your bat article, just like with all the rest. It doesn't explain the changes. It also shows willful ignorance of the capacity for variation in living things.

    The common mammalian ancestor of bats and mice had the capacity to vary their morphology to produce two separate lineages, one capable of flight. That's what the evidence shows.

    Look at dogs. The variations in the species would fill scientific journals if they occurred over time and fossilized. And yet they are all variations within a species. IOW, lots of shapes and sizes, but all dogs.

    Bats and mice are still mammals, still tetrapods, still vertebrates. It's all just variations within the phylum. That's what the evidence shows.

    You see compatible evidence as confirmation, and you reject any and all incompatible evidence. And it's not my job to fix you.

    You haven't presented any incompatible evidence. You've made ignorance based assertions and hand waved away the supporting evidence you were shown.

    And it's not my job to fix you.

    Seems your real job is defending your religion against imaginary threats. My job is to advance scientific knowledge. I don't need fixing, thank you, certainly not from a scientific nincompoop like you.

    I'll do you one favor, though, by pointing out that you are one rude kneebiter.

    I follow the golden rule, and you get exactly the responses you earn. Try some honesty next time instead of blustering attacks on scientists based on your personal ignorance. You'd be amazed at the results.

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  173. box of rocks schuster said...

    Thorton:

    Femurs still have to be within certain parameters, or they don't work well enough. The inner ear bones had to work well enough for a proto-mammal to, not only survive, but do a better job of surviving than the organisms with the transitional condition.


    Inner ear bones still have to be within certain parameters to work. All of the ones in that population had ears that worked 'good enough' in their environment, but some in that group still worked slightly better than others. That gave their owners a small but statistically better chance to survive. On average more 'better hearing' animals passed on their genes that the others. The net result over time was the mean value of the 'working group' parameters slowly shifted to the better hearing variety.

    That's evolution nat, like it or not.

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  174. Nat,

    But we know that people wih mishapen inner ear bones have significant hearing loss. Its considered a handicapping condition.

    True enough , but can they hear at all? That is a real world example you have so assiduously been searching for, the bones don't have to perfect to work at some level. See you knew the answer all along.

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  175. Sorry

    The bones don't have to be perfect to work at some level.

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  176. badwiring said:

    "The trouble is when we assume a priori where the answer will be found and only look there. We can research for centuries looking for an undirected, purposeless cause that creates and modifies life. And with all the work being done, it will be found. But only if it exists. If it doesn't then it won't be found."

    As I asked you before, what scientific tests, experiments, and research do you propose to look for the answers? And what scientific tests, experiments, and research are you doing to find the answers? You've avoided those and my other questions.

    I'll add, what makes you think that all scientists are looking only for undirected causes? Did it ever occur to you that no matter what they look for or look at, they don't see your chosen god or any other god poofing things into existence? In other words, they follow the actual evidence and don't insert gods when there's no evidence of gods.

    You, on the other hand, want them to assume your a priori belief that your chosen god poofed everything into existence and you want them to find proof of that even though neither you nor anyone else has ever proposed a coherent scientific way to find evidence or proof of your chosen god or any other god.

    Exactly what scientific test, experiment, and research do you propose to find and verify that your chosen god or any other god exists, and that it poofed everything into existence? Exactly how should science/scientists go about verifying intelligent design in nature? Be specific and detailed.


    You also said;

    "There's no basis for the a priori assumption that no intelligence was involved, and the more we know the more reason we have to stop assuming it. But as long as we cling to that assumption we risk looking for our keys under the streetlight forever when they are really somewhere else.

    It's okay to look. It's not okay to decide in advance what you expect to find."

    Actually, there's no basis for the a priori assumption that intelligence was involved. You and your fellow religious zealots are the ones with the a priori assumption. You are the ones who have decided in advance what you expect to find, even though you haven't proposed any coherent scientific way to find it.

    Since you and your comrades have such a problem with science and evolutionary theory, why don't you all get out there and find actual evidence for your claims and then present it to science and the world? If your evidence is sound, science and the world will listen. What's stopping you? After all, you say you would prefer to do something more productive than arguing. Well, the whole of nature is out there just waiting for you and your comrades to explore it and answer all the questions that mankind has ever pondered.

    And since you and your comrades have all the appropriate scientific tests, experiments, and research ready to go, all you have to do is put them to work! You should have all the answers in no time! I'll look forward to your soon to be published papers that verify all of your claims.

    Oh, and speaking of "productive", how productive is it to spend a couple of dozen centuries (actually more) looking for answers in fairy tales? People have been making shit up and believing in it for a very long time and it's because they don't know anything about nature and reality, are afraid of nature and reality, and want to convince themselves that their fears and lack of knowledge are logical and righteous by conning other people into believing in the same crap.

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  177. Vel:

    Would they work well enough to survive in a mesozoic jungle? And would they work well enough to out compete a proto-mammal with a ear closer to the reptilian condition?

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  178. Nat,

    Would they work well enough to survive in a mesozoic jungle? And would they work well enough to out compete a proto-mammal with a ear closer to the reptilian condition?


    Good question,what do you think? Are there pro to mammal fossils wIth reptilian
    ear structure? Were they competing in same niche? Does even a rudimentary mammal structure offer some advantage,maybe a freq advantage?

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  179. Search engine optimisation
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