Sunday, December 11, 2011

Transformations of Lamarckism: The Next Nightmare for Evolutionists

Tel Aviv’s Eva Jablonka and Snait Gissis have a new volume out, courtesy of MIT Press, on the resurgence of Lamarckism which is, as Oxford’s Denis Noble notes, long overdue:

This book is long overdue. Lamarck and Lamarckian ideas were not only ignored but actively ridiculed during the second half of the 20th century. As the subtitle of this book indicates, some of the most cogent reasons for reassessing those ideas come from within the citadel of molecular biology itself. A great strength of the book is that it does not seek to reintroduce Lamarckian ideas as they were originally formulated; rather, the Lamarckian perspective is used to assess where the modern synthesis needs extending or even replacing. For any serious student of evolutionary biology, this work will be a bible for many years to come.

It has been a long wait, but evolutionists could no longer suppress the scientific evidence. As Washington University’s Garland Allen explains:

Ever since Darwin and the neo-Darwinians came to dominate the interpretation of evolutionary theory and its history, Lamarck has been ignored, misrepresented and stereotyped. The same was about to happen in the year of Darwin's bicentennial, but thanks to Snait Gissis and Eva Jablonka, Lamarck has finally received the serious attention his work deserves. The editors have assembled a group of world-class scholars – historians, philosophers, and evolutionary developmental biologists – to produce a far more accurate, comprehensive, and exciting portrait of Lamarck as one of the most sophisticated, knowledgeable, and influential naturalists of his day. The series of essays in this volume are an interdisciplinary tour de force.

Nonetheless the evolutionary resistance to the science will not go easily. Look for evolutionists such as PZ Myers to continue screaming “But it’s not Lamarckism!

Religion drives science and it matters.

28 comments:

  1. LOL!

    We'll file this one with the other "nightmares for evolutionists", the banana and the jar of peanut butter

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  2. How's the proposition of a new evolutionary mechanism a problem for evolutionary biology? How does this help the case for ID?

    Cdesign proponentists most of the times use the word "Darwinism" to represent the idea that all living organisms evolved from a common ancestor by "blind" undirected processes (add your favourite nonsense about the origin of life if you think you can trick the audience with that). The neo-Lamarckian mechanisms we're listening about are perfectly "Darwinist" in that sense. Those are not, of course, part of the "neo-Darwinian" Modern Synthesis, but that shouldn't matter to cdesign proponentists. Cdesign proponentists don't care about the details, all they care about is to have some bearded guy actively directing the course of life. At most, we'd be changing from one evil evolutionary theory to another evil evolutionary theory. Gods' are still out of the picture.

    So, why the ID excitement on Lamarckian evolution? It looks to me to be just reflect their petty hatred against some old guy who's been dead over 100 years (and that, ironically, never rejected Lamarckism despite the ideas that were later associated with his name).

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  3. Lamarckism a nightmare for evolutionists?

    Excerpts from the book...

    […]After 1800, "life" lost the status of "a principle for ever unknown to man," and was seen by Lamarck as the product of physical laws regulating the behavior of fluids constantly flowing within (blood, nervous fluids, lymph) and though living organisms (caloric, electricity or magnetism). Spontaneous generations were now possible, since a tenuous membrane could accidentally surround a molecule of a gas or of a fluid subjected to expansions or contractions due to external thermal conditions. Spontaneous generation occurred every day, whenever local circumstances allowed, and were destined to live in the space of a few moments and be forever invisible to man. Lamarck defined Spontaneous generations as "inductions": a necessity of scientific reasoning and of his theory of life, a theoretical conclusion rather than a datum of observation.

    Exceptionally, a few spontaneous generations had been abel to nourish and reproduce themselves, thereby giving rise to simple forms of life up the the structural level and radiates. More complex structures, showing serial segments and eventually bilateral symmetry, developed out of spontaneous generations occurring within already existing, simple organisms.

    […]

    To Lamarck, organic fluid dynamics naturally gained strength within the parts more exposed to changing environmental circumstances, therefore contributing to their reinforcement and extreme rely gradual modification; equally, decreeing level of stimulation would decrease the flow of nutritional, nervous or other fluids to the relevant parts. Thus, it was not "characters" that were acquired during the lifetime of the organism, but only a higher level or lower degree of organic fluid flow or, in general, a small difference in fluid distribution patterns.The subtle fluid contained in the sperm of animals undergoing sexual reproduction - a fluid akin to electricity or caloric, a specification of the very active element "fire" - was equally effected and would organize the eggs of the next generation accordingly, thereby "transmitting" the slight modified pattern of fluid distribution.

    […]

    Equally difficult to understand is Lamarck's concept of "the power of life," usually taken to incite a force inherent in life, pushing toward higher and higher levels of organic complexity. There is no doubt that Lamarck toyed with several concepts that were not always reconcilable with one another.
    In the 1802 Recherches, Lamarck appeared to indicate that the more complex life becomes, the more the biological fluid dynamics increases it efficiency and it's ability to further specialize organs and functions. In other words, the longer life lasts, the more complex it will become. In one, abet only one, case in the Philsophie Zoologiquie (1809, 1:133) he also stated that if marine animals developed within absolutely stable conditions, they would display a perfect graduation of forms. Yet, talking of the transition from respiration through gills to respiration through lungs, he emphatically declared that this required a particularly important set of environmental circumstances: he did not, in other words, refer to the fact that sooner or later the "power of life" would have taken care of the transition.


    Is this what evolutions can no longer suppress the scientific evidence for?

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  4. Evolutionism teaches selection upon mutation plus time equals biology results here or in the past.
    If there is another mechanism then this is a disater for the former.
    One does not need the former.
    It means there could a start, created start, and then a new mechanism can be invoked for what biological change there was and is.
    no need for the old thing and its conclusions.
    no need to see man from apes.
    No need for time.
    No need for Darwin or claiming he had anything to contribute to biology.
    Evolution just is not true and thinking smart people increasingly smell its hogwash.
    Evolution is propped up by geological presumptions upon which fossils info is based.
    This is not a good prop for a unrelated subject of biology.

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  5. Robert Byers -

    No, you've missed the point. Lamarckism is still evolution. They are both theories of evolution. They just say life evolves through slightly different mechanisms.

    If it were discovered tomorrow that Lamarckism was right and Darwinism was wrong, then you would still be in exactly the same position. Evolution would still insist on common ancestry and human descent from apes (or, more accurately, recognition of our inclusion within that clade), etc,.

    And that's if Lamarckism totally replaced Darwinism - which it is not going to do. Darwniism is as rock solid as ever. What Cornelius is desperately trying to spin is a volume merely recognising the work and intelligence of a brilliant scientist, and asking whether a form of his discredited theories actually have a place in modern genetics.

    This is no challenge at all to ToE.

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  6. CH -

    Geoxus beat me to the punch. Why do you continue to champion Lamarck? His theory was merely an alternative theory of evolution. It still implies all life evolved, just through different mechanisms. And it would still exclude God as a possible agent. Why do you champion it as though it helps your cause in the slightest? To do so is like a turkey championing "Happy holidays" over "Merry Chirstmas" - whichever way, it's still going to get eaten!

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  7. Why do you continue to champion Lamarck? His theory was merely an alternative theory of evolution.

    If you believe, as CH does, that "Darwinism" is a religion, then the religion of "Larmarkism" threatens Darwinism.

    (I'm starting to get concerned...I'm beginning to understand him.)

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  8. Pedant -

    (I'm starting to get concerned...I'm beginning to understand him.)

    It is terrifying, isn't it?

    If you believe, as CH does, that "Darwinism" is a religion, then the religion of "Larmarkism" threatens Darwinism.

    Then Cornelius is championing a religion.

    That can't be right, surely? We all know a Fellow of the Discovery Institute, would never do such a thing, surely?

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  9. Pedant and Ritchie,

    I'm afraid you've got it wrong. Darwinism is religion and Lamarckism is science. At least according to Cornelius.

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  10. But Lamarckism still wouldn't allow for God...

    Care to clarify, Cornelius?

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  11. Pedantski is here! I was afraid he met the Maker.

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  12. Ritchie, if lamarkism is true, then the beneficial/adaptive changes we see in nature are not the result of the materialistic mechanism that evolutionists are searching for, but rather, they are merely changes generated by individuals in an attempt to survive changing or challenging environments. In otherwords, unlike darwin believed, biological change would not be evidence that animals are "on their way" to becoming come other kind of animal. For example, finch beak changes would not be evidence that finches are "on their way" to evolving into another kind of bird, rather, their beak changes are only an attempt by individuals to match up to their local environments. Suddenly, origins cannot be explained by adaptive anatomical changes in nature, which is what darwin proposed. Lamarckism destroys darwinism, plain and simple, and darwinists have known this for ages.

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  13. Unknown,

    I do hope this is a Poe.

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  14. Unknown -

    That wouldn't be true.

    If Lamarckism was true, then animals would evolve just as they would under Darwinism - the only difference is that instead of traits being fixed genetically at the moment of a creature's birth, each individual could change the characteristics they pass on to their offspring. A lifetime of stretching one's neck, to use the giraffe example, would pass on a propensity for long necks in one's children. All else remains the same, and yes, evolution would be just as materialistic.

    But all that is beside the point because Lamarckism is not about to usurp Darwinism. The genes you pass on to your offspring ARE fixed before your birth. The form of Lamarckism Cornelius likes to espouse is in fact epigenetics, which is a totally different field. This is no challenge at all to the Theory of Evolution via Natural Selection.

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  15. Eugen, you despicable ignorant troll,

    I have met the Maker, and he is us.

    Goodbye.

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  16. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti !

    You are an angry elf. Relax.

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  17. Evolution became dogma during the era of great ignorance of biology. Lots of observed (and unobserved) change was thrown into the big tent of evolution.

    Why?

    For two reasons. The first was that those under the spell of the mind sucking Darwinian vortex expect most things in biology to be explained by evolution. Second, evolutionists are hungry for confirming evidence so they are quick to adopt anything that they perceive as being that evidence.

    This big tent definition of evolution, while being a great rhetorical help to evolutionists, has muddled the evidence for evolution.

    Surely evolutionists know that bird beak variation arises from the regulation of existing proteins.

    But evolutionists need to muddle this observable change because examples of genuine unbounded, directional change via mutations and natural selections do not exist in reality. Evolutionists do not have one example of such observable change. This really ought to be the definition of evolution.

    Bird Beaks - no
    Peppered Moths - no
    E-Coli - no
    Nylon digesting bacteria - no

    Evolutionists like to compare the variety of complex biological processes that produce change as no different than the simple process of water eroding the Grand Canyon. Such as comparison is no longer acceptable in light of what we now know about biological change.

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  18. Tedford the Idiot said...

    Surely evolutionists know that bird beak variation arises from the regulation of existing proteins.

    But evolutionists need to muddle this observable change because examples of genuine unbounded, directional change via mutations and natural selections do not exist in reality. Evolutionists do not have one example of such observable change. This really ought to be the definition of evolution.

    Bird Beaks - no
    Peppered Moths - no
    E-Coli - no
    Nylon digesting bacteria - no


    Sorry idiot, but the ability to digest citrates in Lenski's Long Term E coli Experiment didn't come from the regulation of existing proteins. It came from a completely new and never before seen genetic mutation. The mutation was then selected for because it gave the E coli a new food source. We know it was brand new mutation because Lenski has kept samples of every generation of the E coli in the experiment, over 50,000 to date, and did a comparison to the before and after genomes.

    The original paper

    Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli

    The experiment

    Lenski Long Term Evolution Experiment home page

    Apparently it's impossible for you to stop being an idiot for even one post.

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  19. To continue the previous post, the definition of evolution should to be completely revised to completely remove bird beaks and peppered moths and such. Certainly change that does not involve mutations are clear candidates for exclusion from the definition of evolution. This would do away with confounding bird beak variation with "microevolution" or evolution whatsoever.

    What of E-coli mutations and nylon digesting bacteria? Mutation, yes certainty, but no evidence whatsoever that E-Coli's loss of function to enable it to transport citrate across the plasma membrane in the presence of oxygen is unbounded and directional. The mutation caused damage to the switch that stopped citrate transport. Since the switch was broke the citrate was allowed into the cell even with oxygen. This is a loss of function that resulted in its survival in a specific environment. Like breaking your power window switch on your car so that your window always stays open.

    So, there you have it. The best examples of evolution, are not even examples of actual evolution. No wonder evolutionists have to keep their tent wide open to include bird beaks and bounded and undirectional mutations that cause loss of switch function.

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  20. Tedford the idiot said...

    To continue the previous post, the definition of evolution should to be completely revised to completely remove bird beaks and peppered moths and such. Certainly change that does not involve mutations are clear candidates for exclusion from the definition of evolution. This would do away with confounding bird beak variation with "microevolution" or evolution whatsoever.


    The definition of idiot should to be completely revised to completely include anyone who thinks and behaves like Neal Tedford. All his posts, none of which involve rational thought, are clear candidates for inclusion into the definition of idiocy. This would do away with confounding Tedford with a normal thinking human being whatsoever.

    I'm sure you Fundy nutjobs get a chubby just fantasizing about being able to make up your own IDiot definitions and force science to use them, right Tedford?

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  21. A computing platform is generally some kind of hardware architecture or software framework where the combination allows compatible application software to run. There are hardware platforms, operating system platforms, software platforms, etc.

    Each individual platform shares a number of common design technologies and functions. Yet each platform can be manufactured and sold with a variation of features depending on the environment it will be utilized in. There are numerous advantages to designing around a "platform" rather than completely unique and incompatible features.

    That most life on earth shares the same basic genetic "platform" is an attribute of a common designer. It is a very efficient way to design... take a strong platform and introduce a variety and mosiac of features over time.

    Evolutionists have no patent or copyright on the genetic code to dictate that the fairly universal nature of it is due to common descent. That the Designer choose to utilize a common platform is evident, given the genetic pattern emerging that is not tree like but a mosaic of features based on a common platform. Very efficient indeed.

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  22. Tedford the idiot said...

    A computing platform is generally some kind of hardware architecture or software framework where the combination allows compatible application software to run. There are hardware platforms, operating system platforms, software platforms, etc.


    Computers don't self-reproduce with heritable variations you idiot. Computer hardware, software, and operating systems don't form a unique nested hierarchy like life does either.

    Sorry Tedford, but you're still an idiot.

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  23. Be careful, Eugen,

    A reindeer might eat you.

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  24. Tedford says:

    That most life on earth shares the same basic genetic "platform" is an attribute of a common designer. It is a very efficient way to design... take a strong platform and introduce a variety and mosiac of features over time.

    Efficiency is meaningless without relation to the goals and constraints. What are the goals and constraints of the designer? What makes you think there is a single designer?

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. To continue the previous post, the definition of evolution should to be completely revised to completely remove bird beaks and peppered moths and such.

    I wasn't aware that the definition of evolution included anything about bird beaks and peppered moths. I thought the definition included things like replication, variation, and selection.

    Certainly change that does not involve mutations are clear candidates for exclusion from the definition of evolution.

    I wasn't aware that anything other than genetic mutation isn't actually variation at all. Everything else must be variations that stay exactly the same.

    This would do away with confounding bird beak variation with "microevolution" or evolution whatsoever.

    Yes, I can see how a replicating population of birds whose beak sizes/shapes vary over time, with some performing better or worse in a given environment might be confused with evolution. Let's see, replication, variation, and selection. Nope, you're right. No evolution there. There's not even any mention of peppered moths or anything!

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  27. Venture, of course the definition of evolution includes all that stuff... that's the problem.

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  28. Tedford the idiot said...

    Venture, of course the definition of evolution includes all that stuff... that's the problem.


    No Tedford, the real problem is your inability to understand the difference between the definition of a process and empirical examples of the process.

    But you're an idiot so that's no surprise.

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