Friday, March 16, 2012

Evolutionists Gave Me Pushback When I Pointed Out a Problem

This week the gorilla genome was published and it revealed some problems for evolution. When the human and chimpanzee genomes were compared years ago, the human genes showed some surprising differences in a few places, such as in genes related to hearing. Evolutionists called it “accelerated” evolution and they said that for some reason it was due to the development of human language. Well that explanation now doesn’t make sense because it turns out the gorilla genome has a similar pattern. So now evolutionists are calling it “parallel accelerated” evolution, because according to them the same accelerated evolution must have happened independently, in the human and gorilla genomes. But all they are really doing is giving a name to something that contradicts their belief. Why would the “accelerated evolution” occur in the gorilla? It wasn’t developing human language. Evolutionists have to imagine some other reason, but why then wouldn’t that “accelerated evolution” occur in the chimpanzee? It doesn’t make sense with evolution and all they can say is that random mutations just happened to create the same pattern twice for some reason.

So other evolutionists are trying to talk down the results, saying it all makes sense. For example PZ Myers, an evolution professor, said that these unexpected findings actually aren’t unexpected, but come from evolutionary noise that occurs during speciation. As usual it’s a real stretch because the “parallel accelerated” evolution pattern is greater than evolutionary “noise.”

And as usual, the professor claimed the results contradict creationism. That’s what Darwin’s book was all about. Evolutionists from before Darwin to today believe everything in biology shows that creationism is false. This is what motivates evolutionists. Therefore evolution must be true, even if it doesn’t make sense.

When I explained these problems some smart, up-and-coming evolutionists gave me strong pushback. They tried to walk back the professor’s argument, saying that Myers only meant that some of the human-gorilla pattern was due to evolutionary noise. Of course the professor said no such thing. He didn’t say that noise can explain only some of the findings, and the other findings are a surprise. No, he was busy calling creationists stupid and arguing that creationism is all wrong.

160 comments:

  1. And now we'll probably get to read Thorton piping in with some obnoxious comments and Scott trying to impress us all with philosophical terminology and droning on about knowledge being created through trial and error.

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  2. Careful wg! I'll post more of those scientific papers you're scared to death of and that make you run crying from the room! :D

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  3. WG, are you suggesting you *do* have an explanation for how we create knowledge? And that evolutionary theory *doesn't* fit your explanation?

    Then, by all means, why don't you "impress" us with your explanation. Please be specific.

    However, every time I've asked you this question, you've avoided it like the plague. Why do you supposed this is the case?

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  4. Cornelius, not sure why you've made a new post of the topic when you never addressed any of the criticisms in the last one.

    You still seem to be suggesting that the accelerated genes are supposed to have been accounted for by ILS. They are not. And nobody ever claimed they were. In your haste to criticise PZ Myers, you have conflated two separate things (as already explained in the previous post's comments).

    Firstly, about 15% of the gorilla genome is closer to the human genome than the human genome is to the chimp. Another 15% is closer to the chimp genome than the chimp genome is to the human. These sequences mostly occur in non-coding regions where diversity is high. In coding regions of the genome, background selection reduces effective population size. Function is preserved by purifying selection eliminating many of the mutations that occur in these regions. These less variable regions coalesce differently than do the more diverse, relatively unconstrained regions of the genome. It is the latter, and not the former, that typically experience ILS over the time scale that we are talking about here.

    Secondly, there are some genes that have experienced faster substitution rates in some of these three lineages. Some are human-specific, some are chimp-specific, some are gorilla-specific. And a further number are accelerated in two of the three lineages, including some that are accelerated in the human and gorilla lineages.

    Parallel accelerations in genes in both humans and gorillas are not going to result in identical, or converging nucleotide sequences. They are going to result in divergent sequences, that nevertheless have accumulated change faster than the chimp homologue. Even if such genes did happen to coalesce before the human and chimp homologues coalesced (i.e. ILS) this would not change because of the parallel acceleration. Nor could it be interpreted to be the cause of the ILS.

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    1. Paul:

      You still seem to be suggesting that the accelerated genes are supposed to have been accounted for by ILS.

      Myers uses (i) ILS and (ii) drawn out speciation events “over long periods of time” to claim that the genome comparisons fulfill evolutionary expectations and contradict creationism. He says nothing about some of the results being problematic. He is making a religious claim, as usual, which underwrites his misrepresentation of the science. The story here is there is a real, non trivial, surprise for evolutionists. Is it possible that his mechanisms could explain the results? Sure, given evolutionists creativity, strange events cannot be absolutely ruled out. But that’s not the story.

      Myers does not limit his discussion to just some of the results while explaining that, otherwise, serious issues remain for evolution (wow, what a concept, honestly discussing the science rather than pronouncing dogma). Instead, he concludes: “This is simply not a problem for evolutionary theory.” Of course it’s a problem. We can’t just make up conclusions based on our religious convictions. Myers has every right to his religious beliefs, but that doesn’t change the science.

      If you want to say that Myers only intended his piece to be about some of the results, while tacitly acknowledging problems elsewhere, then great, I’m delighted to hear it. Perhaps next time he can actually write about those unspoken problems rather than failing to mention them for some odd reason.

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  5. CH:Myers uses (i) ILS and (ii) drawn out speciation events “over long periods of time” to claim that the genome comparisons fulfill evolutionary expectations and contradict creationism. He says nothing about some of the results being problematic.

    You're still treating all the results as being homogeneous!

    When it comes to the ILS, the results are completely in line with decades-old evolutionary theory. The entirely separate issue of parallel evolution is interesting, although I don't see how it is supposed to be interpreted as a problem for evolutionary theory (see below).

    Myers does not limit his discussion to just some of the results while explaining that, otherwise, serious issues remain for evolution

    Myers discusses the 30% of the sequenced gorilla genome that is closer to either the human or chimp genomes than they are to each other. Therefore he is only talking about the part of the study that is concerned with ILS. This has nothing to do with parallel accelerations in human-gorilla homologues, which is the only thing you've discussed in your two posts on the topic.

    What, exactly, are the serious issues for evolution that result from such accelerations? You apparently see a problem with closely related species sharing some similar selection pressures. Certainly, I agree that this could potentially challenge the particular interpretations that have been proposed for why those accelerations took place in the human lineage. But, so what? Any such suggestions are tentative speculations, and they cannot stand as explanations by themselves. We need to understand the mechanisms of those changes - for which there are selectionist and non-selectionist possibilities. This understanding is something we don't achieve with a descriptive coating of Darwinian storytelling.

    The real question is whether the results fit within the mechanistic framework of molecular evolution. The answer to that is a resounding yes.

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    1. Paul:

      Therefore he is only talking about the part of the study that is concerned with ILS.

      Sure, I understand what you are saying, but Myers makes no such careful distinction. And Myers also discusses prolonged speciation as an explanation.


      This has nothing to do with parallel accelerations in human-gorilla homologues

      Well again, I think this would be silly. Myers makes a spirited defense of evolution on the basis of this paper, and a major finding was parallel accelerations. Sure, *perhaps* Myers wasn’t thinking of this part of the findings, and had no intention of discussing it. But he comes across as making a general defense.


      What, exactly, are the serious issues for evolution that result from such accelerations? You apparently see a problem with closely related species sharing some similar selection pressures. Certainly, I agree that this could potentially challenge the particular interpretations that have been proposed for why those accelerations took place in the human lineage. But, so what? Any such suggestions are tentative speculations, and they cannot stand as explanations by themselves. … The real question is whether the results fit within the mechanistic framework of molecular evolution. The answer to that is a resounding yes.

      No Paul, the “real question” is not whether the results fit within a mechanistic framework. I can see you have been trained very well. If that was the real question then I’d be an evolutionist, for all the results of biology can be fitted into a mechanistic framework. But that’s not the claim. The claim is that evolution is a fact.

      And yet we consistently meet with unexpected findings. Can parallel accelerations be absorbed into the mechanistic framework? Of course. That and a million other strange findings can, in a post hoc manner, be explained. What we see is a long history of adjustments of the theory to accommodate findings that were once expected not to occur. That is a fact.


      You apparently see a problem with closely related species sharing some similar selection pressures.

      There is more to this case than merely the call for related species to share some similar selection pressures. In this case, the chimp does not share the hearing-related parallel accelerations (which were ascribed to human language). And the gorilla shares more parallel accelerations with the human than the chimp.

      A show-stopper? No, but every time this happens evolutionary theory becomes more complicated as additional explanations take on new or expanded roles. And the more complicated theory is able to absorb and explain a wider degree of findings. Clearly, all kinds of genetic findings could be explained. Evolutionists are willing to do this because evolution being false is not an option.

      The story here is not that I see a problem with these results for evolution. The results were unexpected, they were a surprise, and therefore that is a problem, post hoc explanations notwithstanding. You can’t just sweep failed expectations under the rug as though they have no effect, just because you were able to provide post hoc explanations, which really are not actual explanations, in any scientific sense (eg, well it turns out the gorilla also had selective pressure on those genes, for some unknown reason).

      Instead, the story here is that evolutionists such as Myers and yourself are not more circumspect about these findings, and the theory.

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    2. I have replied at the end, rather than nesting my reply here.

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  6. Paul,

    To claim that "the results fit within the mechanistic framework of molecular evolution," you have to show with some plausiblity that there were conditions instantiated at a relevant historical time which were necessary and sufficient to result in the current molecular sequences as well as all the relevant fossils posited to be intermediates. No one has shown any such thing.

    Rather, no one has proven that "the results" DON'T "fit within the framework of molecular evolution." But that's beside the point. For no one has shown that "the results" DON'T fit a design framework of separate ancestory for apes and humans EITHER.

    I think this is why CH doesn't seen to know how to respond to you guys. Because I think he assumes you understand how causal explanations actually work. But evolutionists never do real causal explanations when speculating about significant hypothetical transformations. They don't know enough to even know if such causal explanations are possible given the regularities of nature that are assumed to have been in operation in the past.

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    1. Jeff, this design framework for separate ancestry of humans and other apes - what would it look like? How does it operate at the molecular level?

      Specifically, how would this framework explain incomplete lineage sorting of DNA sequences that lack any known function (putatively junk DNA)? How would it explain synonymous sequence similarities in gene homologues that form a nested hierarchy of relatedness that includes humans just like any other species?

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    2. Jeff:

      To claim that "the results fit within the mechanistic framework of molecular evolution," you have to show with some plausiblity that there were conditions instantiated at a relevant historical time which were necessary and sufficient to result in the current molecular sequences as well as all the relevant fossils posited to be intermediates. No one has shown any such thing.

      This is a basic, objective evaluation of the science. Nor is it the case that there is anything close to “such thing” available. In fact, what the science is telling us (not proving 100%, but telling us), is the exact opposite. When evolutions consistently are unable to acknowledge this basic, scientific *fact*, but instead insist their theory is the *fact*, then you know there is something aside from the science at work.


      Rather, no one has proven that "the results" DON'T "fit within the framework of molecular evolution." But that's beside the point. For no one has shown that "the results" DON'T fit a design framework of separate ancestory for apes and humans EITHER.

      But for evolutionists, this failure to absolutely falsify evolution is crucial. More below.


      I think this is why CH doesn't seen to know how to respond to you guys. Because I think he assumes you understand how causal explanations actually work. But evolutionists never do real causal explanations when speculating about significant hypothetical transformations. They don't know enough to even know if such causal explanations are possible given the regularities of nature that are assumed to have been in operation in the past.

      I’d put this a little differently. I don’t there is any question that evolutionists know how causal explanations actually work. These are smart people, scientifically knowledgeable, and so forth. But they are relieved of any such burden of providing such causal explanations. The reason is they believe creationism and design have been falsified. This is the “something aside from the science” which is at work. Creationism and design have been falsified, evolution has not been falsified. Therefore, evolution is the answer. Notice how Paul responded to your points:


      Jeff, this design framework for separate ancestry of humans and other apes - what would it look like? How does it operate at the molecular level?

      Specifically, how would this framework explain incomplete lineage sorting of DNA sequences that lack any known function (putatively junk DNA)? How would it explain synonymous sequence similarities in gene homologues that form a nested hierarchy of relatedness that includes humans just like any other species?


      It’s all about design. Paul has no burden to provide causal explanations. He has no burden to address your points. The evolutionist’s conclusion that evolution is a fact derives from metaphysical arguments that creationism and design are false. So it is not that evolutionists don’t understand how causal explanations actually work. It is that they are way beyond that. They’ve moved past such mundane considerations.

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  7. Well, here's yet another post devoted to Cornelius's silliness. I've now skimmed the Nature paper.

    As I suspect, and as people have been trying to tell Cornelius from the beginning:

    1. The ILS stuff has nothing in particular to do with the parallel acceleration in the evolution of hearing-associated genes. So Cornelius's idea that someone invented ILS last month to "explain away" the oh-so-shocking hearing gene results is just plain delusional. ILS is not even proposed as an explanation of this, either in the Nature paper or in PZ Myers's article. The connection is all made up in Cornelius's head, since he doesn't have even a basic understanding of either topic, yet he nevertheless feels confident in bashing the scientists and declaring their results to be due to religion rather than science.

    2. Parallel acceleration is not "parallel evolution" in the traditional sense. Parallel evolution typically means the same substitution happens independently in 2 lineages. (i.e. homoplasy) Parallel acceleration just means that the rate of change increased in two lineages. Rates of substitution can vary for all kinds of reasons. Why should it be so amazingly surprising that the rate would increase independently in a few cases?

    Here's the whole relevant section from the Nature article.

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    1. Nick:

      So Cornelius's idea that someone invented ILS last month to "explain away" the oh-so-shocking hearing gene results is just plain delusional.

      Actually, what I said was that the ILS and prolonged speciation mechanisms don’t explain the “oh-so-shocking” parallel acceleration findings very well.


      yet he nevertheless feels confident in bashing the scientists and declaring their results to be due to religion rather than science

      Again, the truth (as opposed to the evolutionist’s rendering) is what I am “bashing” is evolutionists, because they insist dogmatically that their idea is a fact, of which any skepticism must necessarily be irrational. In this case Myers made the usual religious argument and I pointed that out.


      Here's the whole relevant section from the Nature article.

      Strangely, after posting the relevant section the evolutionist decides to delete the post. Perhaps that is because the paper gives results that evolution would not have predicted. The human lineage needs to undergo more evolutionary change than the chimp or gorilla lines, yet under evolution the results indicate similar levels of accelerated evolution. Furthermore the gorilla would have to share more accelerated evolution in common with the human than with the chimp. This includes brain and hearing related genes.

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    2. "Strangely, after posting the relevant section the evolutionist decides to delete the post."

      What?? No I didn't. My original comment was past the word limit with the quote in it, so I put the quote from Nature in a second post and posted it a bit later. I thought I succeeded, I have a memory of seeing it go up although maybe something got messed up.

      If anyone deleted the quote, it had to be you, since I didn't (and couldn't anyway).


      "The human lineage needs to undergo more evolutionary change than the chimp or gorilla lines, yet under evolution the results indicate similar levels of accelerated evolution."

      All kinds of things are evolving in all three lineages, i.e. immune system and sperm genes. Just because humans have "undergone more evolutionary change" in some characteristics (e.g. walking, mental ability), does not imply there should be accelerated change in all molecular characters of all sorts.

      "Furthermore the gorilla would have to share more accelerated evolution in common with the human than with the chimp. This includes brain and hearing related genes."

      All this means is that some statistical test for rates of evolution got higher rates on average for genes for one rather vague and general category of genes. It does not mean exactly the same genes and changes were involved in humans and gorillas. It does mean that the suggestive result obtained in a previous study probably isn't as interesting as it first appeared, since probably this group of genes is evolving for diverse reasons, not solely as a result of selection favoring speech, bigger brains, etc.

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  8. =========
    Protein evolution

    The Ensembl EPO primate alignment was filtered to produce a high-quality genome-wide set of 11,538 alignments representing orthologous primate coding sequences, which were then scored with codon-based evolutionary models for likelihoods of acceleration or deceleration of dN/dS in the terminal lineages, ancestral branch, and entire hominine subfamily (Supplementary Information). We find that genes with accelerated rates of evolution across hominines are enriched for functions associated with sensory perception, particularly in relation to hearing and brain development (Supplementary Table 8.4g, h). For example, among the most strongly accelerated genes are OTOF (P = 0.0056), LOXHD1 (P < 0.01) and GPR98 (P = 0.0056), which are all associated with diseases causing human deafness (Supplementary Table 8.5). GPR98, which also shows significant evidence of positive selection under the branch-site test (P = 0.0081), is highly expressed in the developing central nervous system. The gene with the strongest evidence for acceleration along the branch leading to hominines is RNF213 (branch-site P < 2.9 × 10−9), a gene associated with Moyamoya disease in which blood flow to the brain is restricted due to arterial stenosis26. Given that oxygen and glucose consumption scales with total neuron number27, RNF213 may have played a role in facilitating the evolution of larger brains. Together, these observations are consistent with a major role for adaptive modifications in brain development and sensory perception in hominine evolution.

    Turning to lineage-specific selection pressures, we find relatively similar numbers of accelerated genes in humans, chimpanzees and gorillas (663, 562 and 535 respectively at nominal P < 0.05, Supplementary Table 8.3a) and genome-wide dN/dS ratios (0.256, 0.249 and 0.239 in purifying sites, Supplementary Table 8.6). These numbers, which reflect variation in historical effective population sizes as well as environmental pressures, reveal a largely uniform landscape of recent hominine gene evolution—in accordance with previously published analyses in human and chimpanzee3, 28 (Supplementary Table 8.7).

    Genes with accelerated rates of evolution along the gorilla lineage are most enriched for a number of developmental terms, including ear, hair follicle, gonad and brain development, and sensory perception of sound. Among the most significantly accelerated genes in gorilla is EVPL (P < 2.2 × 10−5), which encodes a component of the cornified envelope of keratinocytes, and may be related to increased cornification of knuckle pads in gorilla29. Interestingly, gorilla and human both yielded brain-associated terms enriched for accelerated genes, but chimpanzee did not (Supplementary Table 8.4a–c). Genes expressed in the brain or involved in its development have not typically been associated with positive selection in primates, but our results show that multiple great ape lineages show elevated dN/dS in brain-related genes when evaluated against a primate background.

    We also identified cases of pairwise parallel evolution among hominines. Human and chimpanzee show the largest amount, with significantly more shared accelerations than expected by chance, whereas gorilla shares more parallel acceleration with human than with chimpanzee across a range of significance thresholds (Supplementary Fig. 8.3). Genes involving hearing are enriched in parallel accelerations for all three pairs, but most strongly in gorilla–human (Supplementary Table 8.4d–f), calling into question a previous link made between accelerated evolution of auditory genes in humans and language evolution28. It is also interesting to note that ear morphology is one of the few external traits in which humans are more similar to gorillas than to chimpanzees30.
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  9. Paul: Jeff, this design framework for separate ancestry of humans and other apes - what would it look like? How does it operate at the molecular level?

    Jeff: Per that framework, one would assume that similar molecular sequences can have 3, not merely 2, possible origin explanations -- common descent in terms of UCA, convergence, or common descent in terms of SA -- until you can devise relevant tests to confirm one of the three. This is what CH means by the theory-neutral approach. After all, we know we can intentionally modify molecular sequences. Thus, intent is, indeed, one necessary condition for some sequences.

    Paul: Specifically, how would this framework explain incomplete lineage sorting of DNA sequences that lack any known function (putatively junk DNA)?

    Jeff: What difference does it make since we don't yet know all the DNA sequences which have no function? Testing requires that you know rather than assume. That, again, is what the theory-neutral approach is all about. It's about doing truly testable/falsifiable science. That's precisely what you guys don't do. Indeed, it's probably absolutely humanly impossible to prove UCA, as per the posited sequence, is naturalistically possible even if it is possible. Epistemological humility requires that we be honest about that and use the limited knowledge we have for utilitarian ends alone.

    Paul: How would it explain synonymous sequence similarities in gene homologues that form a nested hierarchy of relatedness that includes humans just like any other species?

    Jeff: There is no research framework which allows us to prove everything we want to know in our life time in a truly theory-neutral way. Can you live with that? I can. In the meanwhile, we can just use what we have actually demonstrated with sufficient plausibility for utilitarian ends. But there's no need to continue to insist that we've proved via methodological (vs. metaphysical) naturalism what we are nowhere near proving thereby.

    Sequence similarities can be caused intentionally (i.e., by design) for functional reasons, etc. Thus, until you know how to rule out intent/design as a cause by some human epistemological falsification criteria, we just ARE stuck with design as a hypothetical possibility for some molecular sequences. To deny that obvious fact is to do science in a non-neutral fashion, just as CH has said.

    No real theory-neutral falsification is going on in the current framework. That framework IS metaphysically naturalistic. I.e., it denies intention as a possible biological cause. The only way metaphysical naturalism can even possibly true is if either:

    1) intentions are not causal,
    2) intentions are natural effects rather than the results of free-will, or
    3) intentions don't occur (i.e., they're illusory)

    Only if 1) or 3) is true can design be ruled out a priori as conceivable explanations of events and states of affairs. To rule out design as a possible historical cause for the sake of simplicity is to limit falsifiability in an arbitrary way. That framework may make it easier to compel conclusions, but it doesn't guarantee the conclusions are true, or even plausible. So, to the extent that those conclusions aren't even useful for utilitarian applications (e.g., what conceivable utilitarian value does a belief in UCA have for humanity?), that framework is, as Popper admitted, just a species of doing metaphysics.

    In short, until your framework produces conclusions that contradict design inferences and have utilitarian value to humanity, it has no negative implications about biological design inferences at all. Nothing that UCA'ists have demonstrated with any plausibility that has any human, utilitarian value contradicts even one ID inference that most ID'ists hold.

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  10. Paul: Jeff, this design framework for separate ancestry of humans and other apes - what would it look like? How does it operate at the molecular level?

    Jeff: Per that framework, one would assume that similar molecular sequences can have 3, not merely 2, possible origin explanations -- common descent in terms of UCA, convergence, or common descent in terms of SA design -- until you can devise relevant tests to confirm one of the three. This is what CH means by the theory-neutral approach.

    Paul: Specifically, how would this framework explain incomplete lineage sorting of DNA sequences that lack any known function (putatively junk DNA)?

    Jeff: What difference does it make until we know what DNA is junk? Testing requires that we aren't speculating. That, again, is what the theory-neutral approach is all about -- truly testable/falsifiable science. That's precisely what you guys don't do. Indeed, it's probably absolutely humanly impossible to prove UCA, as per the posited sequence, is naturalistically possible even if it is possible. Epistemological humility obligates us to be honest about that and use the limited knowledge we have for utilitarian ends alone.

    Paul: How would it explain synonymous sequence similarities in gene homologues that form a nested hierarchy of relatedness that includes humans just like any other species?

    Jeff: There are no actual explanations going on in your framework, either, Paul. There is no causal theory based on known genetics that explains how a trilobite descended from a putative universal ancestor. We can only speculate. And I would add SA as a possible necessary condition to that mix. There is no research framework which allows us to prove everything we want to know in our life time in a truly theory-neutral way. Can you live with that? I can. In the meanwhile, we can just use what we have actually demonstrated with sufficient plausibility for utilitarian ends. But there's no need to continue to insist that we've proved via methodological (vs. metaphysical) naturalism what we are nowhere near proving thereby.

    Sequence similarities can be caused intentionally (i.e., by design) for functional reasons, etc. Thus, until you know how to rule out intent/design as a cause by some human epistemological falsification criteria, we just ARE stuck with design as a hypothetical possibility for some molecular sequences. To deny that obvious fact is to do science in non-neutral fashion, just as CH has said.

    No real theory-neutral falsification is going on in the current framework. That framework IS metaphysically naturalistic. I.e., it denies intention as a possible biological cause. The only way metaphysical naturalism can even possibly true is if either:

    1) intentions are not causal,
    2) intentions are natural effects rather than the results of free-will, or
    3) intentions don't occur (i.e., they're illusory)

    Only if 1) or 3) is true can design be ruled out a priori as a conceivable explanation of events and states of affairs. To rule out design as a possible historical cause for the sake of simplicity is to limit falsifiability in an arbitrary way. That framework may make it easier to compel conclusions, but it doesn't guarantee the conclusions are true or plausible. So, to the extent that those conclusions aren't even useful for utilitarian applications (e.g., what conceivable utilitarian value does a belief in UCA have for humanity?), that framework is, as Popper admitted, just a species of doing metaphysics.

    In short, until your framework produces conclusions that contradict design inferences and have utilitarian value to humanity, it has no negative implications about biological design inferences at all. Nothing that UCA'ists have demonstrated with any plausibility that has any human, utilitarian value contradicts even one ID inference that most ID'ists hold.

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    1. Jeff:

      That, again, is what the theory-neutral approach is all about -- truly testable/falsifiable science. That's precisely what you guys don't do.

      But the metaphysics trumps all this, because it has already shown that design is false. Evolutionists have shown this to be true many times. It began before Darwin, Darwin did much to formalize it, and since Darwin evolutionists have repeated and refined the proofs, over and over.


      Sequence similarities can be caused intentionally (i.e., by design) for functional reasons, etc.

      And for non functional reasons.


      No real theory-neutral falsification is going on in the current framework. That framework IS metaphysically naturalistic. I.e., it denies intention as a possible biological cause.

      Yes, it denies intention, but not out of the blue. There must be no intention because the world is evil, inefficient, and not well designed.

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    2. Jeff:"Per that framework, one would assume that similar molecular sequences can have 3, not merely 2, possible origin explanations -- common descent in terms of UCA, convergence, or common descent in terms of SA design -- until you can devise relevant tests to confirm one of the three"

      There are no coherent models for how the observations of genetics can be accommodated under either convergence or separate ancestry. This is why I specifically referred to synonymous substitutions. Convergence can explain at best amino acid similarities, and even then only under some circumstances. Design could explain many of the amino acid similarities. But synonymous substitutions should not converge, as they experience only weak selecive pressure that is overwhelmed by the noise of genetic drift in mammals. Also, the similarity of genetic sequences forms a nested hierarchy than includes synonymous and non-synonymous changes alike.

      Separate ancestry design - at least by any approach that we ourselves would consider to conduct design - cannot explain the nested hierarchy. This requires common descent. If you have a moment in time when the sequences were created, even allowing mutation there is no reason why the sum changes would result in a nested hierarchy. And most certainly not for genomic flotsam and jetsam like broken retrotransposons and viral insertions.

      Of course, you could posit an SA designer who wanted the appearance of common ancestry, but this gets self-defeating.

      Jeff:"Sequence similarities can be caused intentionally (i.e., by design) for functional reasons, etc. Thus, until you know how to rule out intent/design as a cause by some human epistemological falsification criteria, we just ARE stuck with design as a hypothetical possibility for some molecular sequences."

      Yes. It's a possibility, based on never being able to rule out an unknowable, hypothetical designer. Lacking any positive evidence, though, how compelling is this? And why would such conjecture be given anything approaching equal footing with known mechanisms that can cause the change we observe? This is the reason the design hypothesis is not given more weight.

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  11. Cornelius Hunter

    But the metaphysics trumps all this, because it has already shown that design is false. Evolutionists have shown this to be true many times.


    Another falsehood by CH. Science has not shown design is false, because design can never be falsified. What science has shown is that positing a Designer is unnecessary because natural processes can account for observed biological variation. Since there is no positive evidence for this Designer, there is no reason to believe one was involved.

    Yes, it denies intention, but not out of the blue. There must be no intention because the world is evil, inefficient, and not well designed.

    While certainly being inefficient and not well designed, nature is not evil. Nature is indifferent to the pain and suffering visited on living creatures by natural processes.

    So either you have a Designer who is incompetent and indifferent to the pain and suffering his designs cause, or natural processes did it. Pick your poison CH.

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    1. Thorton: Science has not shown design is false, because design can never be falsified. What science has shown is that positing a Designer is unnecessary because natural processes can account for observed biological variation. Since there is no positive evidence for this Designer, there is no reason to believe one was involved.

      Jeff: Thornton, as far as I can tell, everone agrees that observed biological variation is naturally caused.

      Thornton: So either you have a Designer who is incompetent and indifferent to the pain and suffering his designs cause, or natural processes did it.

      Jeff: It doesn't follow that a Designer is incompetent and indifferent any more than it follows that people who intentionally have children knowing that they will suffer are incompetent and indifferent. That's just silly.

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    2. Jeff

      Thornton: So either you have a Designer who is incompetent and indifferent to the pain and suffering his designs cause, or natural processes did it.

      Jeff: It doesn't follow that a Designer is incompetent and indifferent any more than it follows that people who intentionally have children knowing that they will suffer are incompetent and indifferent. That's just silly.


      But Jeff, IDCers keep telling me the Designer deliberately created the Ebola virus, and Polio, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and Diphtheria, and Diabetes, and HIV/AIDS, and Syphilis, and hundreds of other debilitating and/or fatal conditions.

      What should we think of a parent who deliberately designs methods to kill his children?

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    3. Thorton:

      So either you have a Designer who is incompetent and indifferent to the pain and suffering his designs cause, or natural processes did it. Pick your poison CH.

      Bingo, we have a winner.

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    4. Cornelius Hunter

      Thorton: So either you have a Designer who is incompetent and indifferent to the pain and suffering his designs cause, or natural processes did it. Pick your poison CH.

      Bingo, we have a winner.


      Which one is the winner CH?

      Delete
    5. Which one is the winner CH?

      You are Thorton, for you have demonstrated for the umpteenth time what the origins debate is all about:

      CH:But the metaphysics trumps all this

      Thorton: Another falsehood by CH

      Thorton: So either you have a Designer who is incompetent and indifferent to the pain and suffering his designs cause, or natural processes did it. Pick your poison CH.


      This could have been written by Hume, Darwin, Le Conte, on up to Coyne, et. al. It's all about metaphysics, denial of said metaphysics, and truth claims. This is nothing but religious zealotry that has been around forever.

      Evolution is not science. It is metaphysics dealing with scientific evidence.

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    6. Cornelius Hunter

      Which one is the winner CH?

      You are Thorton, for you have demonstrated for the umpteenth time what the origins debate is all about:


      CH, please quit with the childish evasions.

      Which idea is correct?

      1) The Designer is incompetent and indifferent to the pain and suffering his designs cause, or

      2) Natural processes created the biology we now see.

      Can't have it both ways CH. It has to be one or the other.

      Go ahead, for once in your propaganda writing life commit to a position. At this stage it can only help your almost nil credibility.

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    7. Thorton:

      CH, please quit with the childish evasions.

      Childish evasions? Oh, I thought that what you were doing …


      Can't have it both ways CH. It has to be one or the other.

      There you go again with another childish evasion.


      At this stage it can only help your almost nil credibility.

      You mean it isn’t completely nil?


      Which idea is correct?

      1) The Designer is incompetent and indifferent to the pain and suffering his designs cause, or

      2) Natural processes created the biology we now see.


      I’m afraid you’ve misjudged me. You see, I actually care about science. Now your choices which you evolutionists allow are (1) religious absurdity (fideism) or (2) scientific absurdity (evolution). You evolutionists have made your choice. But what you evolutionists will never understand is that the very alternatives, which you have stipulated in your binary choice quiz, themselves constitute a metaphysical position. As for me, I do not know that those are the only two choices. I suspect it is a whole lot more complicated or subtle than that. But that’s a suspicion. What I do know for sure is what science tells us (i.e., evolution is absurd) and what evolutionists tell us (i.e., evolution must be a fact).

      You see evolution is nothing more than religious zealotry. That’s not hyperbole or rhetoric. That is a simple observation. These types of arguments go way, way back. They led to absurdity back then, and they lead to absurdity now. Sorry, but I will not drink with you.

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    8. Cornelius Hunter

      (more childish evasions)

      I’m afraid you’ve misjudged me. You see, I actually care about science.


      The only thing you seem to care about is cashing your Discovery Institute paycheck for propagating their anti-science Creationist lies.

      Your actions speak much louder than your words CH.

      Delete
  12. Cornelius: Yes, it denies intention, but not out of the blue. There must be no intention because the world is evil, inefficient, and not well designed.

    Jeff: But as you know, you can't even get to such "proofs" without assuming that certain epistemological criteria like parsimony are valid simply because they're more intellectually satisfying than blind faith. Indeed, it is a mere logical possibility that all human "memories" are false ones. And if that's the case, falsifiability isn't even possible for humans. We have to start with axiomatic beliefs to get anywhere at all, inferentially.

    And yet what other axiomatic belief could ground the inference that our own satisfaction is a criteria for plausibility/truth evaluation other than that we are competently designed to apprehend as a means to our own greatest satisfaction? And how can that axiomatic belief be reconciled with the so-called "proof" that design in biology has been falsified?

    Plantinga and others before him have demonstrated the sheer irrationality of that approach. That approach results in radical skepticism when taken to its logical conclusion. But of course, they never take it to its logical conclusion. That's too much like being intellectually honest. They start in mid-air with blind faith and claim it's their opponents doing that.

    Thus, we really are stuck with design/intention as a possible necessary condition of non-human biological molecular sequences. And consequently, we really are stuck with the possibility that SA rather than UCA accounts for the true history of the biota.

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  13. Jeff:

    Jeff: But as you know, you can't even get to such "proofs" without assuming that certain epistemological criteria like parsimony are valid simply because they're more intellectually satisfying than blind faith. Indeed, it is a mere logical possibility that all human "memories" are false ones. And if that's the case, falsifiability isn't even possible for humans. We have to start with axiomatic beliefs to get anywhere at all, inferentially.

    Yes, good points.

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  15. Thorton,

    A theodicy that is sufficiently satisfying to my mind must meet 2 criteria:

    1) Originally-intended (and therefore originally possible) suffering must have been suffering that served as means to goods that were considered worth the suffering to the creatures (so long, of course, as the sufferer was making that evaluation with his/her best, intellectually honest judgment), and

    2) Existence is ultimately deemed justifiable to every intellectually honest sufferer whether or not the original intent was thwarted due to misuse of volition.

    Some would say these criteria require a future designed utopia for all rational beings. If they do, I have no problem with that. But I don't think that rules out just, moral accountability on the other hand. I think it's intuitive to think of the Designer as being sympathetic. And as such, I think both post-mortem bliss combined with post-mortem accountability make the best over-all sense of our intuitive conception of a rational moral order.

    As for suffering per se, if even the suffering babies experience, learning how to walk e.g., rules out a Designer, then I would say it equally rules out my ability to know that my subjective conscious experience corresponds at all with a real external world. I'm not willing to go that far. And besides, I can see how our capacity to suffer may condition the possibility of greater intimacy with a Designer who is also capable of suffering (via sympathy). As such, suffering CAN lead to a greater good just from such intimacy.

    In short, I don't see how to disprove the logical possibility that there is a doable theodicy any more than I see how to falsify the hypothesis that UCA accounts for the true history of the biota by doing empirical experiments.

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    1. Jeff

      I can see how our capacity to suffer may condition the possibility of greater intimacy with a Designer who is also capable of suffering (via sympathy). As such, suffering CAN lead to a greater good just from such intimacy.


      Wow. So the Designer God created created the Ebola virus, and Polio, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and Diphtheria, and Diabetes, and HIV/AIDS, and Syphilis, and hundreds of other debilitating and/or fatal conditions just so we'd feel greater intimacy with Him.

      I've heard some incredibly eff'ed up excuses for why GAWD made the world the way it is, but that one takes the blue ribbon.

      Delete
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    3. I never said God created the Ebola virus, etc. But some suffering in the form of trial and error learning seems to be required for human development.

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    4. Jeff

      I never said God created the Ebola virus, etc.


      Where did all those nasty things come from then? Are you agreeing they arose through natural evolutionary processes?

      But some suffering in the form of trial and error learning seems to be required for human development.

      How do any of those horrible diseases entail trial and error learning? Why does the Designer God want us to suffer so we'll learn to love Him? That's like an abusive father physically and mentally abusing his kids so the kids feel worthless and become co-dependent.

      That Designer God sounds more like a psychopath all the time.

      Delete
  16. In short, I don't see how to disprove the logical possibility that there is a doable theodicy any more than I see how to falsify the hypothesis that UCA accounts for the true history of the biota by doing empirical experiments.

    Maybe you should see an ophthalmologist.

    On the one hand, it is impossible to disprove the possibility that a coherent theodicy can be developed, because we have no crystal ball that foresees all possible future theodicies.

    On the other hand, there are many possible falsifications of common descent. You seem to lack imagination.

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    1. Pedant: On the one hand, it is impossible to disprove the possibility that a coherent theodicy can be developed, ...

      Jeff: Yeah, well, that's what I said.

      Pedant: On the other hand, there are many possible falsifications of common descent. You seem to lack imagination.

      Jeff: I didn't say common descent. I said UCA. Give me an experimental result that would prove UCA didn't occur. Prove you're not all bluff.

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    2. Jeff

      Pedant: On the other hand, there are many possible falsifications of common descent. You seem to lack imagination.

      Jeff: I didn't say common descent. I said UCA. Give me an experimental result that would prove UCA didn't occur. Prove you're not all bluff


      There are lots of discoveries that if made would have falsified the idea of a UCA.

      If it were discovered that animals in different phyla had completely different and incompatible forms of DNA, that would 100% disprove the idea of a UCA.

      Just like all of evolutionary theory, the idea of a UCA is quite falsifiable. It just hasn't been falsified.

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  17. Jeff: To claim that "the results fit within the mechanistic framework of molecular evolution," you have to show with some plausiblity that there were conditions instantiated at a relevant historical time which were necessary and sufficient to result in the current molecular sequences as well as all the relevant fossils posited to be intermediates. No one has shown any such thing.

    "Shown" in what way? Are you an inductivist?

    Why don't you start out by explaining how knowledge is created, then point out how "mechanistic framework of molecular evolution" doesn't fit that explanation. Please be specific.

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  18. Scott, causal explanations are deductive accountings of states of affairs or events in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. That's just what explanations ARE. To say that you're explaining something because I can't prove you're not is worthless. Because you can't prove God didn't create via SA either.

    But we use induction to come up with hypotheses and evaluate the relative plausibility or rival explanations in terms of breadth of explanation, etc. There is currently no naturalistic accounting of the biota at all. So induction isn't any help to us yet.

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  19. Jeff: In short, I don't see how to disprove the logical possibility that there is a doable theodicy any more than I see how to falsify the hypothesis that UCA accounts for the true history of the biota by doing empirical experiments.

    The underlying explanation behind evolutionary theory is that the knowledge of how to build the biosphere, as found in the genome, was created though a form of conjecture and refutation. Specifically, conjecture, in the form of genetic modification, and refutation, in the form of natural selection.

    For example, if this was indeed the case, this would necessarily rule out the most complex form of life appearing at the same time as the least complex. It would also rule out an order of appearance of most complex to least complex. Since biological adaptations require knowledge to build, they cannot be built until the required knowledge to perform the adoptions has been created.

    However, not only is this this falsifiable, but it's a hard to vary. There is no easy way to vary this underlying theory without significantly impacting it's ability to explain what we observe.

    For example, "An abstract designer did it" is a bad explanation, in that it's similar to the Greek myth of the seasons: they are both shallow and easily varied, the cast of characters are only connected to seasons though the myth itself, and the roles they play could be varied without significantly reducing it's ability to explain seasons, or the biosphere, respectively.

    This is in contrast to our current explanation of the seasons, which represents a long chain of hard to vary explanations across multiple fields. The earth's rotation is titled in respect to it's orbit around the sun. A spinning sphere retains it's tilt. Surfaces titled away from radiant heat are headed less. The origin of star light (nuclear fusion), etc. If we break any part of this chain, there is no easy way to vary this explanation without significantly impacting it's ability to explain the seasons. There is no where go. Furthermore, these links were formed independently of each other.

    In other words, our explanation for the seasons is good not only because it's falsifiable, but because it's hard to vary.

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  20. Jeff: But we use induction to come up with hypotheses and evaluate the relative plausibility or rival explanations in terms of breadth of explanation, etc.

    Are you familiar with the problem of induction and the work of Karl Popper?

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  21. Jeff: Because you can't prove God didn't create via SA either.

    You seem to be confusing a mere possibility with an explanation.

    One of the unique things about people is that we're universal explainers. That we we can create explanations and use them as a criteria for what possibilities we test.

    For example, it's unlikely that anyone has performed research to determine if eating a square meter of grass each day for a week would cure the common cold. Why is this? Is it because it's logically impossible? No. Is it because it's unfalsifiable? No, this would be trivial to test. Is it because it's a non-natural? No. Why then is it unlikely to be the subject of research? Because we lack an explanation as to how and why eating a square meter of grass each day for a week would cure the common cold. As such, we discard it, a priori, even before we bother to test it.

    And we do this for a near infinite number of mere possibilities every day, in every field of science. Why should your "designer" be any different?

    On the other hand, unlike people, natural process cannot create explanations. As such they cannot discard conjectured genetic variations due to the lack of a good explanation, a-priori, before being tested by natural selection.

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  22. The problem of induction is the problem of knowledge in general when you don't accept the intuitive belief that we're designed to apprehend as a means to satisfaction.

    As for explaining UCA, your evidences are quite superficial because there is not the slightest reason to believe that the complexity required to survive and vary is attainable from mere physical and chemical laws working on a primitive earth. Nor is there any reason whatsoever to believe that the changes you hypothesize would occur in the posited time-frame even if it were possbile for them to occur in SOME time-frame. Nor is there any reason to believe that there are cellular configurations that serve as sufficient and necessary conditions to generate all the hypothetical intermediates posited.

    IOW, you don't have a causal explanation at all. The SA-type ID'ists at least can generate a causal account. It can't be tested, to be sure. But we do this kind of ID causal explanation in court rooms every day. And there are analogies that fit with it. That doesn't make it particularly plausible in terms of analogy. But when there are no explanatory alternatives that doesn't even matter.

    There are no analogies extended to the level of UCA that explain anything like the detailed view of evolutionary history you posit. This is because analogical extrapolations don't produce the radical branching patterns you have to posit to generate the hypothetical "tree of life." Again, it always amounts to, "but you can't prove it didn't happen."

    That's the point. It's unfalsifiable. Because it's not even explanatory yet. There are no known initial necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian that imply (i.e., predict) the remaining hypothetical history could have occurred, much less did occur, much less could have done so probabilistically in the posited time-frame.

    CH and I are as curious about what we can determine about the kinds, modes and degrees of biological variation possible as you are. But CH and I realize that the UCA hypothesis isn't explanatory of the data it's ultimately hoped to account for.

    At least with an ID approach one can posit necessary and sufficient conditions to account for the data. No one chooses to do that, because we all want to believe that biological variation goes beyond what we observed--if for no other reason to make biological classification more systematic. In that sense, we're all evolutionists. But we don't all feel the need to claim we know what we can't possibly know.

    Here's the thing: the smartest evolutionists all admit no one can predict phenotypes. That's all you need to know to know that you don't have a causal theory.

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  23. Jeff

    As for explaining UCA, your evidences are quite superficial because there is not the slightest reason to believe that the complexity required to survive and vary is attainable from mere physical and chemical laws working on a primitive earth.


    Er...no. We have over 150 years of consilient positive evidence that says the complexity we see today is the result of the operation of physical and chemical laws. What we don't have is a single piece of positive evidence that shows any additional inputs from a hypothesized Intelligent Designer actually occurred.

    There are no analogies extended to the level of UCA that explain anything like the detailed view of evolutionary history you posit. This is because analogical extrapolations don't produce the radical branching patterns you have to posit to generate the hypothetical "tree of life." Again, it always amounts to, "but you can't prove it didn't happen."

    Wrong again for the reasons just given. Do you have any science training or background at all? I'm not trying to be snarky, but you seem to have a basic misunderstanding of how science works.

    That's the point. It's unfalsifiable.

    I just gave you a way to falsify the idea of a UCA. Did you not read it?

    There are no known initial necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian that imply (i.e., predict) the remaining hypothetical history could have occurred, much less did occur, much less could have done so probabilistically in the posited time-frame.

    Oh please, don't start with the idiotic "it's too improbable" arguments again unless you're prepared to produce all the data necessary to do accurate calculations.

    Here's the thing: the smartest evolutionists all admit no one can predict phenotypes. That's all you need to know to know that you don't have a causal theory.

    ToE can't predict specifics, but it certainly can predict general trends. take the phenomenon of insular dwarfism. Populations of animals that are geographically isolated (say, on an island created by rising sea levels) tend to become reduced in size over time.

    What can ID predict?

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  24. Thorton: Er...no. We have over 150 years of consilient positive evidence that says the complexity we see today is the result of the operation of physical and chemical laws.

    Jeff: Er...no. Again, an explanation is a set of necessary and sufficient conditions from which we can deduce the data to be explained by it. We have no such thing.

    Thorton: I'm not trying to be snarky, but you seem to have a basic misunderstanding of how science works.

    Jeff: Until you have an hypothesis that EXPLAINS the data you wish to account for, you don't have any way to falsify it. Without an ability to falsify it, you're not dealing with science. There are NO known Precambrian conditions that serve as necessary and sufficient conditions to explain even one Cambrian, complex creature. Thus, there are no predictions to test.

    Thorton: I just gave you a way to falsify the idea of a UCA. Did you not read it?

    Jeff: You made some high-level generalizations that you find intuitive. I find them intuitive too. So what? That doesn't mean positing a UCA implies that anything beyond a single-celled organism would ever descend from it. Thus, those high-level generalizations we find intuitive aren't applicable to the hypothesis.

    The way you falsify an hypothesis is to demonstrate that a deduction made from it is false. The hypothetical condition is a Precambrian organism. So how do the conditions entailed in that claim imply the subsequent terrestrial biota descended from that Precambrian organism? None. Thus there is no prediction there to test.

    Thorton: Oh please, don't start with the idiotic "it's too improbable" arguments again unless you're prepared to produce all the data necessary to do accurate calculations.

    Jeff: I made no such claim. I said you we don't know that it IS probable.

    Thorton: ToE can't predict specifics, but it certainly can predict general trends. take the phenomenon of insular dwarfism. Populations of animals that are geographically isolated (say, on an island created by rising sea levels) tend to become reduced in size over time.

    Jeff: And what ID inference do you think this contradicts? I know of none.

    Thorton: What can ID predict?

    Jeff: Depends on the particular ID hypothesis. I suspect there are plenty that predict nothing just like the positing of a first Precambrian organism doesn't imply UCA. One can posit UCA for metaphysical preference if one wants to. But there are no known Precambrian conditions that serve as sufficient and necessary conditions for the subsequent fossil and extant biota data. There's no causal theory there. Just like there's no causal theory for the grass-eating healing people.

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  25. Thorton, you have the whole problem of knowledge to contend with. For since you don't believe you're designed, you also can't consistently believe you're designed to apprehend. So for all you know, solipsism is true. See, e.g., http://www.talkorigins.org/pdf/comdesc.pdf. You can't confirm anything that supposedly falsifies a non-falsifiable hypothesis. And if science only falsifies and never confirms anything, what use is it?

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    1. Jeff

      And if science only falsifies and never confirms anything, what use is it?


      Double LOL!

      What Freshman dorm bathroom wall did that inane piece of "wisdom" come from?

      Science never proves anything 100%, but it certainly can confirm ideas with enough positive evidence to have them be accepted as factual.

      You really don't have the faintest clue about how science actually operates, do you?

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  26. The only way you can do meaningful "falsification" is if parsimony/breadth of explanation (in terms of intuitive/categorical relations) is the criteria used for causal theory rejection. Otherwise, you run into the demarcation problem noted by all competent philosophers of science. Otherwise, you can always posit enough illusions and/or false memories to salvage any hypothesis.

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    1. LOL!

      There's nothing quite so entertaining as a scientifically ignorant Philosophy student trying to rhetorically argue away empirically determined reality.

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  27. Jeff

    Thorton: Er...no. We have over 150 years of consilient positive evidence that says the complexity we see today is the result of the operation of physical and chemical laws.

    Jeff: Er...no. Again, an explanation is a set of necessary and sufficient conditions from which we can deduce the data to be explained by it. We have no such thing.


    The scientific community has such a thing. Had it for some time now, and the positive supporting evidence still keeps rolling in. You're probably unaware of all the evidence because it wasn't covered in your freshman philosophy course.

    Thorton: Do you have any science training or background at all? I'm not trying to be snarky, but you seem to have a basic misunderstanding of how science works.

    Jeff: Until you have an hypothesis that EXPLAINS the data you wish to account for, you don't have any way to falsify it.


    OK, zero scientific training or understanding for you. Got it.

    Thorton: I just gave you a way to falsify the idea of a UCA. Did you not read it?

    Jeff: You made some high-level generalizations that you find intuitive.


    No, I gave you a specific result from already collected empirical data that would provide exactly what you claimed is impossible. That you choose to try and hand wave it away doesn't say much for your integrity.

    Thorton: Oh please, don't start with the idiotic "it's too improbable" arguments again unless you're prepared to produce all the data necessary to do accurate calculations.

    Jeff: I made no such claim. I said you we don't know that it IS probable.


    Yes, you did make the claim. You said the occurrence of evolution could not "have done so probabilistically in the posited time-frame."

    You don't know the probabilities to make that claim. No one does. Backtracking on what one said is quite intellectually dishonest, don't you agree?

    But there are no known Precambrian conditions that serve as sufficient and necessary conditions for the subsequent fossil and extant biota data

    You mean none that you know of and/or will accept. That's due to your ignorance of the fields of study, not any problem with the theory.

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  28. Thorton: No, I gave you a specific result from already collected empirical data that would provide exactly what you claimed is impossible. That you choose to try and hand wave it away doesn't say much for your integrity.

    Jeff: Nope. I haven't even said UCA is impossible. You need to slow down and read carefully.

    Thorton: Yes, you did make the claim. You said the occurrence of evolution could not "have done so probabilistically in the posited time-frame."

    Jeff: Wrong again. I said, "Nor is there any reason whatsoever to believe that the changes you hypothesize would occur in the posited time-frame even if it were possbile for them to occur in SOME time-frame."

    Thorton: Backtracking on what one said is quite intellectually dishonest, don't you agree?

    Jeff: I'm not backtracking. Do you think lying about me is intellectually dishonest? I know it is. But what difference does it make if I am lying if there is no Designer? You gonna kill me or something bully boy? If neither, why would I care what you think? How pathetically confused you are.

    Thorton: You mean none that you know of and/or will accept. That's due to your ignorance of the fields of study, not any problem with the theory.

    Jeff: No. You just don't know what necessary and sufficient conditions are, apparently. Wow. But that's the least of your problems. You have the whole problem of knowledge to contend with since you deny that you are designed to apprehend.

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  29. To clarify the last bit, of course I "don't know of" necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian from which the existence of subsequent fossils and extant organisms can be deduced. But neither does any one else. That doesn't mean there weren't such conditions in the Precambrian. But it does mean we don't have an explanatory hypothesis that accounts for the data it is supposed to account for. Rather, we just can't prove that it DOESN'T account for it. But the same is true of SA by design.

    What you seem to forget is that breadth of explanation only comes into play ONCE you have an explanatory hypothesis. That's precisely what we don't have merely because there were single-celled organisms in the Precambrian. That doesn't remotely explain the subsequent biota.

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    1. Jeff

      What you seem to forget is that breadth of explanation only comes into play ONCE you have an explanatory hypothesis. That's precisely what we don't have merely because there were single-celled organisms in the Precambrian. That doesn't remotely explain the subsequent biota.


      Sorry to burst your ignorant freshman Philosopher bubble, but science has a boatload more evidence than just "there were single-celled organisms in the Precambrian".

      You may want to do some research before embarrassing yourself further.

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  30. Jeff

    Jeff: Nope. I haven't even said UCA is impossible. You need to slow down and read carefully.


    You said the idea of a UCA was unfalsifiable. I showed you a clear way it could be falsified. Why are trying to change what you said again?

    Wrong again. I said, "Nor is there any reason whatsoever to believe that the changes you hypothesize would occur in the posited time-frame even if it were possbile for them to occur in SOME time-frame."

    Now you're going to try flat out lying. Bad idea when you original words are still there to check against. Here's what you said:

    Jeff: "There are no known initial necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian that imply (i.e., predict) the remaining hypothetical history could have occurred, much less did occur, much less could have done so probabilistically in the posited time-frame."

    But what difference does it make if I am lying if there is no Designer? You gonna kill me or something bully boy? If neither, why would I care what you think? How pathetically confused you are.

    I just like pointing out the ignorance and intellectual dishonesty of IDCers for the lurkers. Call it my vice.

    No. You just don't know what necessary and sufficient conditions are, apparently. Wow. But that's the least of your problems. You have the whole problem of knowledge to contend with since you deny that you are designed to apprehend.

    LOL! Again, there's nothing quite so amusing as a dirt-ignorant freshman Philosophy student trying to lecture about science.

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  31. Jeff: The problem of induction is the problem of knowledge in general when you don't accept the intuitive belief that we're designed to apprehend as a means to satisfaction.

    So, essentially, we make progress because, "that's just what God must have wanted"?

    You're response is an example of how intelligent design fails, as it doesn't even begin to explain the origin of the knowledge this designer supposedly used to build us so we find apprehension satisfactory. Apparently, the designer somehow brings about the spontaneous generation of this knowledge by merely desiring us to find apprehension satisfactory, which would be magic, or this knowledge has always existed.

    However, A designer that "just was" complete with the knowledge of how to build us to find apprehension satisfactory, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because one could more economically state that the first human beings, "just appeared", complete with the knowledge of how to build brains that find apprehension satisfying, already present in their genomes.

    Nor did you address the issue as to how our ability to form theories actually works, in reality. So, it could be that you think we make progress merely because a magic man wanted us to. As such, no casual explanation for the creation of knowledge is even possible, let alone required.

    Jeff: IOW, you don't have a causal explanation at all.

    Again, how do you explain our ability to create knowledge?

    The central flaw of creationism is also the same flaw of pre-enlightenment, authoritative conceptions of human knowledge. In both cases, the account of how this knowledge could be created is either supernatural, illogical or completely absent. In fact, in the case of some types of knowledge, such as cosmology, morality or other rules of human behavior, is the same as they are both spoken to early human beings by supernatural beings. In other cases, such as the rule of monarchies or the existence of God, they are protected by taboos or taken for granted to the degree that they go uncriticized, and therefore go unrecognized as being ideas.

    IOW, you're appealing to pre-enlightenment thinking, whether you realize it or not.

    So, if you think there is no sufficient and necessary conditions required for *our* ability to create knowledge, then it would come as no surprise that you would conclude there is no "reason to believe that there are cellular configurations that serve as sufficient and necessary conditions to generate all the hypothetical intermediates posited." Apparently, they both exist outside some sort of explanatory bubble that we supposedly exist in.

    Jeff: There are no analogies extended to the level of UCA that explain anything like the detailed view of evolutionary history you posit.

    Are you sure you understand evolutionary theory?

    Genes are but one form of replicator. As such we predict that the ancestors of DNA would also take the form of a biological replicator. Not knowing exactly what form these replicators took or the specific order in which they appeared doesn't mean we lack a theory in this sense.

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    1. Thorton: Sorry to burst your ignorant freshman Philosopher bubble, but science has a boatload more evidence than just "there were single-celled organisms in the Precambrian".

      Jeff: An original single-celled organism in the Precambrian is the initial condition that has to be known to be a necessary and sufficient condition of the subsequent fossil/phenotypical data for the hypothesis to be explanatory. Unfortunately, it's no such thing.

      Thorton: You said the idea of a UCA was unfalsifiable. I showed you a clear way it could be falsified. Why are trying to change what you said again?

      Jeff: If you believed your mind was designed to apprehend, you could get off the ground in some respects. But since you don't even believe that, you can't get anywhere inferentially with any plausibility criteria at all. Thus, you can't even get to falsifiability for any hypothesis about an external world. I know this is hard for you, but if all belief about an external world is blind, there's no such thing as evidence for it, much less particular events of it.

      Thorton: "There are no known initial necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian that imply (i.e., predict) the remaining hypothetical history could have occurred, much less did occur, much less could have done so probabilistically in the posited time-frame."

      Jeff: Exactly. There are NO KNOWN intial necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian that IMPLY that the subsequent hypothetical evolutionary history is probable in the posited time-frame. This is not the logical equivalent of saying UCA is false or improbable. The fact that you don't see that is proof that you don't have even the most basic understanding of logic.

      Thorton: I just like pointing out the ignorance and intellectual dishonesty of IDCers for the lurkers. Call it my vice.

      Jeff: And I like demonstrating the sheer irrationality of pontificators like yourself for the lurkers. Call it my virtue.

      Thorton: However, A designer that "just was" complete with the knowledge of how to build us to find apprehension satisfactory, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because one could more economically state that the first human beings, "just appeared", ...

      Jeff: Wrong. Because "just appearing" is not a causal explanation of one's origin. Therefore, it is certainly not a more economical explanation. You're just confused.

      Thorton: So, it could be that you think we make progress merely because a magic man wanted us to. As such, no casual explanation for the creation of knowledge is even possible, let alone required.

      Jeff: Not at all. Wanting is not doing. Doing is causing.

      Thorton: it would come as no surprise that you would conclude there is no "reason to believe that there are cellular configurations that serve as sufficient and necessary conditions to generate all the hypothetical intermediates posited."

      Jeff: There are NO KNOWN necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian for the existence of a trilobite in the Cambrian. For that MEANS that the origin of the trilobite can be DEDUCED from those posited necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian. Surely you can not be this utterly moronic.

      Thorton: Genes are but one form of replicator. As such we predict that the ancestors of DNA would also take the form of a biological replicator. Not knowing exactly what form these replicators took or the specific order in which they appeared doesn't mean we lack a theory in this sense.

      Jeff: So what? It doesn't render the speculation plausible or even possible on the other hand. You can't deduce the hypothesis from any physics and chemistry you accept nor demonstrate it in the lab.

      Delete
    2. To Jeff the liar:

      It's bad enough you're as ignorant as they come on evolutionary theory. Now you've got to lie about what I said.

      Only three of the eight quotes you attributed to me were made by me.

      If you're going to be a lying scum you can go crawl back under the rock you crawled out from.

      Typical pathetic Creationist liar. Typical.

      Delete
    3. Yes, that was my bad. But it was a mistake, not a lie. But it doesn't surprise me that you're so stupid you don't know the difference.

      Delete
    4. Jeff

      Yes, that was my bad. But it was a mistake, not a lie. But it doesn't surprise me that you're so stupid you don't know the difference.


      Is that how your parents taught you to apologize for a "mistake"?

      You're really making quite the spectacle of yourself here.

      Delete
    5. Jeff: If you believed your mind was designed to apprehend, you could get off the ground in some respects. But since you don't even believe that, you can't get anywhere inferentially with any plausibility criteria at all. Thus, you can't even get to falsifiability for any hypothesis about an external world. I know this is hard for you, but if all belief about an external world is blind, there's no such thing as evidence for it, much less particular events of it.

      Expect this argument is highly parochial, in that it only takes into account a narrow scope. For example, are you familiar with the work of Karl Popper?

      Delete
    6. [Scott]: However, A designer that "just was" complete with the knowledge of how to build us to find apprehension satisfactory, already present, serves no explanatory purpose. This is because one could more economically state that the first human beings, "just appeared", complete with the knowledge of how to build brains that find apprehension satisfying, already present in their genomes.

      Jeff: Wrong. Because "just appearing" is not a causal explanation of one's origin. Therefore, it is certainly not a more economical explanation. You're just confused.

      Apparently, you're having difficulty with the argument I'm presenting.

      What ID does is merely claim knowledge of some unknown origin was previously located in some designer, then intentionally embedded into the genome. But this doesn't address the origin of this knowledge in the first place. All you've done is push the problem into some unexplainable realm.

      As such, one could more economically reformulate ID in that organisms "just appeared" complete with the this knowledge already present in their genomes.

      For example, where did the designer get the knowledge it embedded into the genome? Was it previously embedded in some earlier designer? And where did the knowledge this previous designer used, come from? Yet another previous designer?

      However, unlike ID, evolutionary theory DOES explain how this knowledge was created. As such, it's NOT merely claiming that organisms "just appeared" complete with the this knowledge already present in their genomes.

      Delete
    7. [Scott]: So, it could be that you think we make progress merely because a magic man wanted us to. As such, no casual explanation for the creation of knowledge is even possible, let alone required.

      Jeff: Not at all. Wanting is not doing. Doing is causing.

      You're confusing the assumption that God purposely designed us to find apprehension satisfactory, with the causal means by which we actually make progress each and every day.

      So, to reformulate my question, what are the causal factors that God supposedly put into place that allows us to comprehend on a regular basis? How does it actually work, in detail? Or do we make progress because God somehow intervenes moment to moment?

      In other words, I can't distinguish your explanation from "magic".

      [Scott]: it would come as no surprise that you would conclude there is no "reason to believe that there are cellular configurations that serve as sufficient and necessary conditions to generate all the hypothetical intermediates posited."

      Jeff: There are NO KNOWN necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian for the existence of a trilobite in the Cambrian. For that MEANS that the origin of the trilobite can be DEDUCED from those posited necessary and sufficient conditions in the Precambrian. Surely you can not be this utterly moronic.

      And, again, you seem to suggest there are no known necessary and sufficient contusions by which we create knowledge on a daily basis, other than a magic man did it in some unknowable way.

      Surely you cannot be this blind to your own assumptions, can you?

      Delete
    8. [Scott]: Genes are but one form of replicator. As such we predict that the ancestors of DNA would also take the form of a biological replicator. Not knowing exactly what form these replicators took or the specific order in which they appeared doesn't mean we lack a theory in this sense.

      Jeff: So what? It doesn't render the speculation plausible or even possible on the other hand. You can't deduce the hypothesis from any physics and chemistry you accept nor demonstrate it in the lab.

      Exactly what are we talking about at this point? That the UCA is X rather than Y? Of course that's speculation. How could it not be not this point?

      But this is different from the underlying theory behind evolutionary theory, which is collaborated by an overwhelming number of observations, across independent fields of study.

      Again, you're confusing predictions of a theory, based on what we know today, with the underlying expansion behind evolutionary theory as a whole.

      Delete
    9. Scott: In other words, I can't distinguish your explanation from "magic".


      Jeff: Your view is utterly "magic." You're not desiged to apprehend--so there is an infinite set of ways you could be getting everything wrong unwittingly, but magically enough, you JUST KNOW you're right. WOW!

      Delete
    10. From the critical rationalism entry on Wikipedia...

      Not justificationism

      William Warren Bartley compared critical rationalism to the very general philosophical approach to knowledge which he called "justificationism". Most justificationists do not know that they are justificationists. Justificationism is what Popper called a "subjectivist" view of truth, in which the question of whether some statement is true, is confused with the question of whether it can be justified (established, proven, verified, warranted, made well-founded, made reliable, grounded, supported, legitimated, based on evidence) in some way.

      According to Bartley, some justificationists are positive about this mistake. They are naïve rationalists, and thinking that their knowledge can indeed be founded, in principle, it may be deemed certain to some degree, and rational.

      Other justificationists are negative about these mistakes. They are epistemological relativists, and think (rightly, according to the critical rationalist) that you cannot find knowledge, that there is no source of epistemological absolutism. But they conclude (wrongly, according to the critical rationalist) that there is therefore no rationality, and no objective distinction to be made between the true and the false.

      By dissolving justificationism itself, the critical rationalist regards knowledge and rationality, reason and science, as neither foundational nor infallible, but nevertheless does not think we must therefore all be relativists. Knowledge and truth still exist, just not in the way we thought.

      Delete
  32. Jeff: This is because analogical extrapolations don't produce the radical branching patterns you have to posit to generate the hypothetical "tree of life." Again, it always amounts to, "but you can't prove it didn't happen."

    Except I've already provided an explanation that does explain the sort of tree we observe. And it does so in a way that is hard to vary. apparently have no detailed criticism of this example. Rather, you keep repeating the same objections.

    Specifically, if this knowledge was created, rather than having always existed or being spontaneously generated, there would be necessary consequences in the sort of tree we observe. And there would be no easy way to vary this theory without significantly impacting it's ability to explain what we observe.

    Jeff: Here's the thing: the smartest evolutionists all admit no one can predict phenotypes. That's all you need to know to know that you don't have a causal theory.

    If the knowledge used to build adaptations we observe in the biosphere are created by conjecture and refutation, then why would you expect us to be able to predict phenotypes? This simply does not follow. Rather the emergence of phenotypes would be unknowable in the sense that it would depend on knowledge that hasn't been created yet.

    See the following talk, which explains the different types of unknowability and how they are effected by the creation of knowledge.

    David Deutsch on Optimism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DNA sequences are not knowledge, Thorton. And mutations are not conjecture. So your discussion is irrelevant. Per methodological naturalism, events are explained by hypotheses when the events can be deduced from the posited necessary and sufficient conditions in terms of REGULARITIES of nature. You can't do any such thing with phenotypes.

      Delete
    2. Jeff

      DNA sequences are not knowledge, Thorton. And mutations are not conjecture. So your discussion is irrelevant.


      Since you are woefully ignorant of actual evolutionary theory and are just proselytizing, your opinions on the scientific validity of the theory is irrelevant.

      Per methodological naturalism, events are explained by hypotheses when the events can be deduced from the posited necessary and sufficient conditions in terms of REGULARITIES of nature. You can't do any such thing with phenotypes.

      Sorry Jeff, but the verdict is in. You've identified yourself as just another ignorant IDC blowhard.

      Delete
    3. Thorton: Sorry Jeff, but the verdict is in. You've identified yourself as just another ignorant IDC blowhard.

      Jeff: Great. Maybe now you'll shut up and go away. Your idiocy is wearying.

      Delete
    4. Jeff the liar

      Great. Maybe now you'll shut up and go away. Your idiocy is wearying.


      No, I think I'll stay here and point out just how ignorant and clueless about evolutionary biology you really are.

      Delete
    5. I figured as much. LOL!

      Talk at you in the morning then.

      Delete
    6. Jeff: DNA sequences are not knowledge, [Scott]. And mutations are not conjecture. So your discussion is irrelevant.

      Jeff,

      One cannot perform a magic trick unless you have the knowledge of how to perform that trick. Otherwise, it would actually be magic or the spontaneous generation of knowledge. The origin of the magic trick is the origin of the knowledge of how to perform it. We create knowledge of how to perform magic tricks via conjecture and refutation.

      In the case of the biosphere, eyes represent adaptations. For example, eyes cannot be constructed in the absence of the knowledge of how to build them. Otherwise this would be spontaneous generation of knowledge, or "magic". As such, the origin of adaptations is the origin of the knowledge that was used to build them, as found in the genome.

      Evolutionary theory explains the creation of this knowledge via genetic variation and natural selection, which is a form of conjecture and refutation.

      In other words, all predictions of evolutionary theory are based on a specific, underlying explanation for how the knowledge used to build the specific adaptations we observe was created. Specifically, genetic variation in form of conjecture, in that variations were undirected in regards to function, and refutation, in the form of natural selection. However, unlike people, natural process cannot create explanations, which we use as a criteria for when to perform tests via observations.

      We can see this from another perspective as well.

      One significant difference between objects we design, such as cars, and organisms, is that cars do not build themselves. As of yet, they do not repair themselves. Nor do we take a small chunk of material from a car, suspend it in a mixture of oil and gas and end up with a complete car several months later. As such, the knowledge of how to adapt raw materials into a specific make and model of car resides in us, books and the robots we've constructed to build them, rather than the car itself.

      However, organisms do build themselves. Human beings start out as a single fertilized egg that, when provided energy from it's mother, results in an entire infant six months later. In fact, some salamanders actually can rebuild entire limbs, including skin, muscle, bone and even nerves.

      As such, organisms do contain the knowledge of how to build themselves, as the cell contains the knowledge of how to adapt resources to build the specific features which are unique to each species.

      Delete
  33. Sorry Scott. I thought you were Thorton.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Scott: Specifically, if this knowledge was created, rather than having always existed or being spontaneously generated, there would be necessary consequences in the sort of tree we observe.

    Jeff: A perfect example of how brain-washed you people become. The so-called "tree" is not OBSERVED. If it was, UCA would be known to be true by observation alone, for crying out loud.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Jeff

    A perfect example of how brain-washed you people become. The so-called "tree" is not OBSERVED. If it was, UCA would be known to be true by observation alone, for crying out loud.


    Yes Jeff, the data that forms the tree IS empirically observed.

    Phylogenetic supertree

    I warned you to research first before more ignorant spouting, but apparently you're determined to stick both feet in your mouth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The data doesn't FORM a tree. YOU DO in your own mind! You're UTTERLY confused. There is no data that, by itself, forms an observable UCA tree.

      Delete
    2. Jeff

      The data doesn't FORM a tree. YOU DO in your own mind! You're UTTERLY confused. There is no data that, by itself, forms an observable UCA tree.


      I imagine in your ignorance you think it's an actual living tree, complete with leaves, bark, and branches.

      What's next, the argument that we're all just disembodied brains living in a vat?

      Do you Philosophy types have any connection to the real world at all, even peripherally?

      Delete
    3. It's not philosophy. It's logic. This shows how confused you are. I've never taken a philosophy class in my life. But even philosophy has to use the rules of deductive logic.

      And I'm the one that understands that tree-building rules are not the logical equivalent of a genetic, genealogical history. You have no causal theory that explains late Precambrian to present fauna/flora in terms of biological/environmental conditions in the earlier Precambrian. You can't predict phenotypes that way. So the trees are not known to correspond to natural causality, genealogically speaking.

      Delete
    4. Jeff

      It's not philosophy. It's logic. This shows how confused you are. I've never taken a philosophy class in my life. But even philosophy has to use the rules of deductive logic.


      You haven't taken a single biology, paleontology, or genetics class in your life either. Hasn't stopped you from blathering on about the topics though...

      And I'm the one that understands that tree-building rules are not the logical equivalent of a genetic, genealogical history.

      What you "understand" and what reality is seem to be two very different things.

      You have no causal theory that explains late Precambrian to present fauna/flora in terms of biological/environmental conditions in the earlier Precambrian.

      Why do Creationists always think it they yell "THERE IS NO THEORY OF EVOLUTION!!" loud enough that the theory will suddenly cease to exist?

      You can't predict phenotypes that way.

      ToE doesn't say or depend on being able to predict specific phenotypes. That's your ignorance talking again.

      So the trees are not known to correspond to natural causality, genealogically speaking.

      You may want to tell that to the millions of scientific researchers who have been successfully using evolutionary phylogenetic trees in their work for the last 50+ years. Boy will they be surprised!

      Delete
    5. Thorton: ToE doesn't say or depend on being able to predict specific phenotypes.

      Jeff: Of course not. Because you're not doing science, you're doing metaphysics. It's not a causal theory. You won't have a causal theory that corresponds to the tree-building rules until you can predict the proper phenotypes at the right time in terms of the initial conditions. DUH!

      Delete
    6. Jeff

      Thorton: ToE doesn't say or depend on being able to predict specific phenotypes.

      Jeff: Of course not. Because you're not doing science, you're doing metaphysics. It's not a causal theory. You won't have a causal theory that corresponds to the tree-building rules until you can predict the proper phenotypes at the right time in terms of the initial conditions. DUH!


      I suppose because science can't predict ahead of time the specific rolls of a pair of dice, that means everything we know about probability theory is wrong too.

      Sorry Jeff, you just keep adding evidence to the 'Jeff is a clueless boob' pile.

      Delete
    7. Probability calculations of that kind are based on our ignorance. IOW, because we CAN'T predict, we just default to equiprobability, etc. Even then, we have to get into large numbers of trials, etc. Such qualifications come from mathematical deduction or observation---NOT blind speculation.

      And yes, we are ignorant of a causal theory that would account for UCA in terms of some Precambrian initial conditions. ABSOLUTELY IGNORANT! DUH!

      Delete
    8. Jeff

      And yes, we are ignorant of a causal theory that would account for UCA in terms of some Precambrian initial conditions. ABSOLUTELY IGNORANT! DUH!


      You keep mistaking your personal ignorance for what science actually knows. But have fun flogging that ridiculous cartoon version of evolutionary theory.

      More evidence for the ever growing pile I'm afraid.

      Delete
    9. You're awe-inspiring in your ignorance and stupidity, Thorton. If you could deduce the relevant data from the putative necessary and sufficient conditions, you would just provide that deduction instead of attempting a pathetic, pontifical bluff. But of course, you have none. No one does. You're just moronic.

      Delete
    10. Jeff

      You're awe-inspiring in your ignorance and stupidity, Thorton. If you could deduce the relevant data from the putative necessary and sufficient conditions, you would just provide that deduction instead of attempting a pathetic, pontifical bluff. But of course, you have none. No one does. You're just moronic.


      LOL! Keep that big pile growing Jeff.

      Now that you've 'logically' disproven something that has not the slightest connection to any scientific reality, could you do us all a favor? Could you 'logically' disprove the theory of gravity next? I'd love to be able to just jump and fly to work instead of driving through rush hour traffic.

      Delete
    11. You're moronic. Gravitational theory is predictive in the deductive sense in terms of sufficient and necessary conditions. That's why it's a causal theory. And that's why it's subject to falsification. You're moronic.

      Delete
    12. Jeff

      You're moronic. Gravitational theory is predictive in the deductive sense in terms of sufficient and necessary conditions. That's why it's a causal theory. And that's why it's subject to falsification. You're moronic.


      When you're done 'logically' disproving gravity, could you then please 'logically' disprove the germ theory of disease? Getting those flu shots every year is such a bother.

      We're so lucky to have an armchair philosopher like you Jeff to set those ignorant scientists straight!

      Delete
    13. Thorton: We're so lucky to have an armchair philosopher like you Jeff to set those ignorant scientists straight!

      Jeff: Naw, not philosopher, but one who understands basic logic. And unfortunately, YOU are not fortunate therefore. You're too needy to give up your belief that you can pontificate truth out of thin air. Poor Thorton. It'll be alright; you'll see. LOL!

      Delete
    14. Jeff

      Thorton: We're so lucky to have an armchair philosopher like you Jeff to set those ignorant scientists straight!

      Jeff: Naw, not philosopher, but one who understands basic logic.


      Correction. We're so lucky to have an armchair logician like you Jeff to set those ignorant scientists straight!

      Intelligent Design Creationists don't need any of that fancy scientific book learnin', or years of dedicated research with peer reviewed positive results. No siree Bob! We've got Captain Logic on the job!

      Delete
    15. Naw, Thorton. You're not lucky at all. Because you don't care about logic. And no one doubts that there are positive results. They just don't indicate anything about UCA in a causal sense.

      In other words, give me one molecular pattern derived from all the molecular sequences for all species studied and then tell me how that pattern correlates in any suggestive way with the hypothesis that a Precambrian single-celled organism (or whatever you want to posit it to be) is the ancestor of all other known species. Please quit keeping it a secret. Just put it out there for us. After all, we taxpayers are paying for much of that research, moron. It shouldn't BE a secret.

      But remember, I can read. I see the admissions of "surprise" results in the literature. A surprise result is one that is CONTRARY to expectations, thereby proving THAT particular generalization was FALSIFIED.

      And remember, it has to be MORE suggestive of UCA than it is that the biota is designed by the same designer in terms of SA. Otherwise, it's worthless in a corroborative sense. Surely you're not so moronic to not even get that much, huh?

      You have your mission. So good luck!

      Delete
    16. Jeff

      Naw, Thorton. You're not lucky at all. Because you don't care about logic. And no one doubts that there are positive results. They just don't indicate anything about UCA in a causal sense.


      Jeff buddy, you're far too modest!

      With your mad armchair logician skillz you just disproved one of the world's best supported scientific theories! 150+ years of positive evidence, millions of scientific studies all GONE is a puff of Jeff's logical smoke!

      You just gotta share this amazing feat with the world! Here's the address for submissions to Nature, one of the top scientific journals on the planet

      Nature Manuscript Submission

      You'll be famous! You'll be on Fox News! Maybe Rush Limbaugh will even interview you!

      Go for it Jeff. You deserve it.

      Delete
    17. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    18. Aw, heck, Thorton. I ain't nothing special. MOST people can think circles around deluded posers like yourself. I ask you to "put up" and you couldn't. Now, if you weren't just the pompous ass you've utterly demonstrated your self to be, you would now SHUT UP. But somehow I think you just can't resist continually mooning the world. You'll get over it one day. Don't worry.

      Delete
    19. Jeff

      Aw, heck, Thorton. I ain't nothing special.


      Sure you are Jeff. You're very special. I'll bet you were even special as a child, when they gave you that short yellow bus to ride on.

      Hey, it's not every day we get some untrained dirt ignorant Creationist claiming to have disproved ToE while sitting on his duff at home. Well, actually it *is* everyday, but your particular spin on things makes you unique.

      Delete
    20. Thorton: Hey, it's not every day we get some untrained dirt ignorant Creationist claiming to have disproved ToE while sitting on his duff at home. Well, actually it *is* everyday, but your particular spin on things makes you unique.

      Jeff: It's literally every day that people like you put words into other people's mouths. I never said I have disproved UCA. But I don't expect people like you to actually read. And this explains why books and scientific literature do you no good.

      I've actually argued with a pontificator like yourself who claimed I took an evolutionist out of context. He provided a fuller context thinking it would prove me wrong. Amazingly enough, the fuller context was more explicitly in my favor than the more limited one. And the author was a well-known, highly-credential'ed evolutionist. You people are just clueless as to what renders beliefs warranted.

      And, no, my spin isn't unique at all. You're just ignorant of much that you aren't aware of. But you've demonstrated clearly that you are too close-minded and weak-minded to give up your belief that you can pontificate truth into existence out of thin air.

      You sleep tight, tonight, Thorton. I wouldn't want you getting antsy from contemplating the possibility that you're not the very source of true claims.

      Delete
    21. Special Jeff

      I've actually argued with a pontificator like yourself who claimed I took an evolutionist out of context. He provided a fuller context thinking it would prove me wrong. Amazingly enough, the fuller context was more explicitly in my favor than the more limited one. And the author was a well-known, highly-credential'ed evolutionist. You people are just clueless as to what renders beliefs warranted.


      LOL! I'm sure in your mind you've won every battle with those evil evo scientists. After all, what chance did they stand against the awesome power of Captain Logic?

      As much fun as it is to poke fun at your arrogant ignorance, we probably should stick to science.

      Here is a 2010 study that did a detailed statistical analysis of all the available genetic evidence for a UCA. The results overwhelmingly supported the UCA hypothesis.

      A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry

      Why don't you read the paper, summarize the author's arguments in your own words, then provide your own detailed analysis for why he got everything wrong.

      Ball's in your court Special Jeff. Show us the science.

      Delete
    22. Sounds good. Now, if the only comparison was between common ancestry and convergence, then of course it doesn't even address the causal explanation of "similar design." In that case, the article is irrelevant to what this site is about. But I'll check it out.

      Delete
    23. Before I spend the money to get the article, Thorton, I would like to know if you think the authors and contributors (who agree with UCA) to the following article are stupid merely because they find Theobald's paper unconvincing. Their comments are worth discussing, because they bring to the fore the circular reasoning that continually goes on in evolutionary theorizing.

      http://www.biology-direct.com/content/5/1/64

      Delete
    24. Jeff

      Before I spend the money to get the article, Thorton, I would like to know if you think the authors and contributors (who agree with UCA) to the following article are stupid merely because they find Theobald's paper unconvincing. Their comments are worth discussing, because they bring to the fore the circular reasoning that continually goes on in evolutionary theorizing


      1. The paper is available online for free, so your first excuse won't fly

      2) Koonin and Wolfe didn't say Theobald's work was unconvincing. They merely said in their opinion a formal demonstration of UCA hadn't been achieved. They still believe the data overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis of a UCA. Their exact words

      K/W: "A formal demonstration of the Universal Common Ancestry hypothesis has not been achieved and is unlikely to be feasible in principle. Nevertheless, the evidence in support of this hypothesis provided by comparative genomics is overwhelming."

      Don't pull a muscle grasping at those non-existent straws.

      BTW, I don't think you're stupid either. Just young-clueless-guy arrogant and as ignorant about evolutionary biology as a box of rocks.

      Delete
    25. I don't see a way to get it free from the link you provided. But you miss the point of K/W's concession. They admit:

      "However, formal demonstration of UCA, independent of the assumption that universally conserved orthologous proteins with highly similar sequences actually originate from common ancestral forms, remains elusive and might not be feasible in principle."

      IOW, if you assume that highly similar sequences of orthologous proteins are "conserved" and "originate from common ancestral forms," then the fact that such proteins are found "universally" obviously compels the conclusion that UCA is true. But assuming is not demonstrating. Assuming is not subjecting the belief to falsification. Assuming is not showing that the intial conditions account for the relevant data deductively.

      It's circular reasoning non-stop, just as reviewer 3 mentioned:

      "... This and other examples seem to indicate that Theobald's argument may be based on tautology. Can the authors elaborate on whether their simulation is testing the circularity of the argument ..."

      IOW, what is always ruled out, because it is not testable, is that similar sequences can be due to common, intentional design. And that is what CH means when he says this research is not done in a neutral way.

      Now you can say that science can not deal with such hypotheses. That's true in one sense. But there is no such knowable thing as science at all if we can't at least know we're designed to apprehend. IOW, there is no epistemological way to eliminate design in biology without throwing the epistemological baby out with the epistemological bath water.

      And therefore, we have no epistemological warrant in ASSUMING that similarity in sequences indicates common ancestors. We have to DEMONSTRATE it. And that can't be done yet in a way that makes the UCA case. Because we don't yet have a causal theory that makes falsifiable predictions yet. We can't predict phenotypes well enough.

      Delete
    26. Jeff

      I don't see a way to get it free from the link you provided.


      Try here.

      A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry

      But you miss the point of K/W's concession.

      No, I didn't. They couldn't be more clear when they wrote

      Nevertheless, the evidence in support of this hypothesis provided by comparative genomics is overwhelming.

      You're hanging on the semantics of the word 'formal' and ignoring all the other data. Grasping at straws again.

      Say, weren't you the guy who just claimed the only supporting evidence for UCA was "merely because there were single-celled organisms in the Precambrian"? Yep, that was you.

      IOW, what is always ruled out, because it is not testable, is that similar sequences can be due to common, intentional design.

      You haven't established that there's any intentional design at all, let alone common design.

      IOW, there is no epistemological way to eliminate design in biology

      That's right. Intentional design/common design cannot be falsified even in principle. That makes them not science. If you think differently then please tell me what evidence could possibly falsify the claim of intentional/common design.

      And therefore, we have no epistemological warrant in ASSUMING that similarity in sequences indicates common ancestors.

      Yes, we do. We have identified natural processes that produces common descent. We have empirically observed the processes to work. We understand enough to see that current genetic patterns can be adequately explained by the process. We have an overwhelming consilience of evidence that the natural processes were responsible.

      We also have zero positive evidence that any external Designers were involved. Therefore we have no reason to posit an unknown, evidence-free Designer.

      Science doesn't say Intelligent Design is impossible. Science just says we have no evidence for it and no need to assume it.

      We have to DEMONSTRATE it.

      For the umpteenth time, it has been to the satisfaction of science professionals who research and study the topic. Too bad for the Creationists who demand a time machine and a detailed list of every last mutation for 3 billion years.

      We can't predict phenotypes well enough.

      And again, the ToE is not predicated on predicting specific phenotypes. You keep flogging that poor sad strawman and all you're doing is making a straw mess everywhere.

      Delete
    27. Jeff

      It's circular reasoning non-stop, just as reviewer 3 mentioned:

      "... This and other examples seem to indicate that Theobald's argument may be based on tautology. Can the authors elaborate on whether their simulation is testing the circularity of the argument ..."


      Why did you omit Koonin and Wolf's direct response to the tautology question?

      "Response: We tend to disagree: the whole point is that the shuffled alignment columns in our test carry a signal of sequence similarity but not an evolutionary signal. Although each column in the shuffled alignment originates from an alignment of homologous sequences, the statistical models do not depend on this fact and do not actually retain the information of the evolutionary relatedness of the respective genes but rather could have been generated a priori. We clarify this in the revision."

      That wasn't very honest of you, now was it?

      Delete
    28. Right, they say they TEND to disagree. Indeed, isn't Koonin the same guy that appeals to the multi-verse to get around the seeming intractable difficulties of rendering abiogenesis plausible? The guy sees the problems. He admits that what he calls compelling evidence DEPENDS upon making an ASSUMPTION that he can NOT demonstrate. For to demonstrate THAT assumption is to FALSIFY that particular ID hypothesis, which even you admit is impossible.

      Same goes with solipsism. Theobald claims solipsism is conceivable but unfalsifiable. And yet he assumes he has proven there is an external world. You can not prove what, by impliciation, falsifies an unfalsifiable hypothesis. That's BASIC LOGIC! NOT PHILOSOPHY!

      Delete
    29. Jeff

      Same goes with solipsism. Theobald claims solipsism is conceivable but unfalsifiable. And yet he assumes he has proven there is an external world. You can not prove what, by impliciation, falsifies an unfalsifiable hypothesis. That's BASIC LOGIC! NOT PHILOSOPHY!


      Science doesn't "prove" anything. Science offers positive evidence to support hypotheses. The more evidence, the more the hypothesis is supported. Enough evidence and the hypothesis may be considered factual, but it is never 100% "proven". That's BASIC SCIENCE, of which you still seem to have no grasp.

      Right now the hypothesis of a UCA has an huge amount of supporting evidence, and there is no positive evidence for any other explanation of the genetic data. The claim of "common design" is the worse kind of intellectual cowardice. Common design explains absolutely nothing - no mechanism, no time line, no predictions - nothing.

      Delete
    30. Thorton: Science doesn't "prove" anything.

      Jeff: Right, including whether there's such a relation as evidential. You start in mid-air by blind faith. All discursive thought thereafter is based upon blindly-accepted "rules." Thus, you can never falsify anything. Science only gets us somewhere if it is built upon a foundationalism that is both INTUITIVE to the species and inclusive of the relation of competent/benevolent design--so that we can at least know INTUITIVELY there is a world out there that we're designed to apprehend, as opposed to there only being subjective illusions, etc.

      But once you start there, you can't rule out the possibility that similarity in biological molecular sequences are caused by common design, just like configurational similarities in designoids made by humans are. You can't prove an analogy wrong if it's not falsifiable. And you certainly can't prove it wrong if there is no non-arbitrary epistemology conceivable to humans without that analogy holding for SOME aspect of the functionality of at least ONE species--humans!

      Thorton: Right now the hypothesis of a UCA has an huge amount of supporting evidence, and there is no positive evidence for any other explanation of the genetic data.

      Jeff: I have no idea what you mean by evidence since you believe blind faith is knowledge. But by my definition, data serves as evidence for a hypothesis if that data set renders the hypothesis capable of greater explanatory breadth than its competitors.

      But you don't even have a causal hypothesis yet. You know of no initial conditions that explain the data you insist it does. Thus, explanatory breadth doesn't even come into play to adjudicate which of our views is more plausible.

      By my definition of evidence, I don't need any more evidence than the analogy of common design since I'm already holding the ONLY causal explanation of those universal cellular-function sequences Koone talked about.

      You, on the other hand, are just speculating. As Koonin admitted, you have to just make AN ASSUMPTION about that relation of similarity before the DATA can be interpreted as evidence for UCA. But I don't have to make a blind faith assumption. Maybe you do to sleep at night. I don't.

      And yes, if I'm willing to use the further analogies about specified information (complex sequences that serve as necessary conditions for conspicuous biological function) used by Dembski, I could predict that certain degrees of such complexity will never be shown to arise naturally and condition conspicuous biological functionality naturally unless via functionality conditioned by at least the same degree of specified information. But that's about as unfruitful as trying to conceive of an experiment that would falsify UCA.

      This whole debate has no real research value. It's only about academic freedom and professional respectfulness that should go hand in hand with the level of intelligence that ideally should inhere in those with PhD's teaching in universities. If people in public want to moon, that's different.

      Delete
    31. Jeff

      Thorton: Science doesn't "prove" anything.

      Right, including whether there's such a relation as evidential. You start in mid-air by blind faith. All discursive thought thereafter is based upon blindly-accepted "rules." Thus, you can never falsify anything.


      Don't be ridiculous. I already gave you a quite specific way to falsify the hypothesis of a UCA. Why do you keep forgetting that?

      But once you start there, you can't rule out the possibility that similarity in biological molecular sequences are caused by common design,

      I've already agreed we can never rule it out, because IDC can't be falsified. We just have no positive evidence for it.

      I have no idea what you mean by evidence since you believe blind faith is knowledge.

      It's pretty obvious you have no idea what evidence means in a scientific context, keeping with your lack of understanding of all things scientific.

      But you don't even have a causal hypothesis yet. You know of no initial conditions that explain the data you insist it does. Thus, explanatory breadth doesn't even come into play to adjudicate which of our views is more plausible.

      Wrong again. Science not only has a hypothesis, it has an extremely well supported one.

      By my definition of evidence, I don't need any more evidence than the analogy of common design since I'm already holding the ONLY causal explanation of those universal cellular-function sequences Koone talked about.

      Which is why you'd get laughed out of a working science lab, and rightfully so.

      Maybe you do to sleep at night. I don't.

      Sounds like your personal problem. I sleep just fine.

      And yes, if I'm willing to use the further analogies about specified information (complex sequences that serve as necessary conditions for conspicuous biological function) used by Dembski, I could predict that certain degrees of such complexity will never be shown to arise naturally and condition conspicuous biological functionality naturally unless via functionality conditioned by at least the same degree of specified information.

      If you assume the moon is made of green cheese then you can predict Neil Armstrong could make a St. Patty's day fondue. Do you and reality ever come into contact with each other?

      But that's about as unfruitful as trying to conceive of an experiment that would falsify UCA.

      Like the one I already described to you. You really need to pay better attention.

      This whole debate has no real research value.

      There is no scientific debate. The IDC movement is a political one, not a scientific one.

      It's only about academic freedom and professional respectfulness that should go hand in hand with the level of intelligence that ideally should inhere in those with PhD's teaching in universities.

      Academic freedom and professional courtesy doesn't mean every unsupported crackpot idea deserves equal time in a classroom. Science is not a democracy, and it doesn't run an affirmative action program for religious proselytizers. IDC will be welcome after it earns its way in by producing positive results, the same way every other idea in science had to do.

      Delete
    32. Thorton: Don't be ridiculous. I already gave you a quite specific way to falsify the hypothesis of a UCA. Why do you keep forgetting that?

      Me: Remind me again so I can re-explain why you're wrong. Falsifications are observations, etc that contradict logical implications of the hypothesis. The hypothesis is that one or more single-celled organisms (or some other non-multi-cellular organisms) in the Precambrian combined with the laws of physics and chemistry, etc and some terrestrial conditions constitute sufficient and necessary conditions for UCA as per certain posited ancestral trees. Work out, e.g., how a JUST a Cambrian trilobite is LOGICALLY implied by those conditions. Otherwise, you have nothing.

      Thorton: I've already agreed we can never rule it out, because IDC can't be falsified. We just have no positive evidence for it.

      Me: We have no way to know there's such a thing as evidence for an external world to get off the ground epistemologically if we don't know intuitively at least one instance of biological design--apprehension.

      Thorton: It's pretty obvious you have no idea what evidence means in a scientific context, keeping with your lack of understanding of all things scientific.

      Me: It's pretty obvious you can't supply the definition you use which pretty much means you're an idiot.

      Thorton: Do you and reality ever come into contact with each other?

      Me: That's precisely why I added that it was unfruitful as your own approach. You're just too moronic to read carefully.

      Delete
    33. Well Jeff, now that you've admitted to lying and making up bogus quotes, there's not much point in listening to you tell more lies here, now is there?

      I'd like to say it's been a while since I met a Creationist so completely clueless of all aspects of science. But sadly, mouthy but ignorant creationists like you are a dime a dozen.

      Careful, don't let the door of reality hit you in the butt as you flounce out.

      Delete
    34. Whew! What a ride. Get you sleep, there, partner. You've got a lot of mooning to do yet! LOL!

      Delete
    35. Just curious Jeff - how often do you make up lies to try and win arguments?

      Do you lie to your boss like you lied on the other thread? Do you lie that way to your girlfriend?

      Is it just your ego, or is it more of a "lie told for Jesus is OK" sort of thing?

      Delete
    36. I'm shooting for as many times as you moon. But that's causing me to lose a lot of sleep. So I'm gonna have to really slow down and just accept that you can just way out-do me! LOL!

      Delete
    37. Seriously Jeff, I really want to understand why Creationists like you feel compelled to lie about scientific matters.

      Is it a defensive mechanism to cover for your ignorance and inadequacy in the scientific arena?

      Delete
    38. I'm not lying, moron. I showed you precisely where Koonin admitted that one has to ASSUME that those particular similar sequences indicate common ancestry before they can be interpreted as evidence FOR common ancestry. But that's just moronic. Once you voluntarily ASSUME something that is not naturally intuitive, you're already ignoring the true inductive evidential relation and making up your own. ANY IDIOT can do that MORON.

      You see, Thorton, YOU are the one LYING to YOURSELF--OVER and OVER and OVER! WOW! LOL!

      Delete
    39. Jeff

      I'm a lying moron.


      I just provided the logical equivalent, or something close to it, of what you actually wrote.

      I'm allowed to do that under "Jeff's laws of honest discussion", right? I'm sure you won't mind.

      Delete
    40. Yes, feel free. I don't mind at all. It wouldn't matter if I did, would it? I want you happy Thorton. Moon away.

      Delete
    41. So Captain Logic, did you read the Theobald paper yet? When will you be delivering your devastating scientific critique?

      I'm sure you can fabricate another quote or two to slide by.

      Delete
    42. Fabricate, huh? So Koonin didn't use the word "assume?" The reviewer didn't use the words "circular" and "tautology?" Coyne didn't use the title "Why Evolution is True?" What illusory universe are you in, dude? Or are you just so ignorant of basic logic that you see all dissent from your own opinions as lies? Dude, you're pathological.

      Delete
    43. Jeff

      Fabricate, huh?


      Yeah, fabricate. Like you fabricated the lie about "scientists say UCA is known to be a fact"

      But I'm sure since it was told for Jesus it must be OK, at least inside of your own ignorant mind.

      Delete
    44. Not all scientists do say that. Just some. The idiotic ones.

      Delete
    45. And I did qualify by saying common ancestry to one or more basically one-celled organisms. The reason why that doesn't matter is that the data that is interpreted for UCA over multi-single-celled-ancestry works analogically as evidence for common design as well.

      Delete
    46. Jeff

      Not all scientists do say that. Just some. The idiotic ones


      Then name some you liar, and provide the references.

      Delete
    47. Jeff

      And I did qualify by saying common ancestry to one or more basically one-celled organisms.


      You didn't say "one or more" Jeff. You claimed scientist state UCA is known to be a fact. That has a very specific meaning in scientific parlance.

      Backtracking and trying to change what you wrote after the fact is the act of a pathetic coward.

      Delete
    48. Thorton, the article you want me to read argues that UCA is the more plausible of the two macroevolutionary views. Koonin agrees. You do too, apparently. Thus, to say UCA is known to be true is actually as or more plausible than saying one of the 2 views is true. Are you this oblivious to logic? Really? These people are idiot-savants speaking about matters about which they're idiots rather than savants.

      Delete
    49. Sorry Jeff, but no one in the scientific community ever said UCA is know to be a fact. No one in the scientific community ever said UCA is known to be true either.

      You got caught in a big fat lie, and all the squirming and excuse making you do won't change it.

      Delete
    50. Great, I'm a liar, and they're idiots. I can live with that.

      Delete
    51. ... I'm perfectly fine with you believing I'm a liar. Because I don't define "liar" the way that you do. Per my definition, a person lies when he/she intentionally trys to get another to believe a falsehood by stating what he/she believes to BE a falsehood. I wasn't consciously distinguishing UCA from the alternative consensus view when I wrote what I wrote. And that's because the alternative consensus view is as moronic as UCA. Indeed, you even agree that it is less plausible thatn UCA.

      The only point I was trying to make is that to claim SUCH (meaning either of the 2 consensus views of macroevolution) nonsense is true is to either lie or reveal you're an idiot. I take the more charitable interpretation and infer they're just idiot savants speaking on matters about which they're idiots.

      If you find that the less charitable approach, I'm good with that. We just disagree, then. Remember, even YOU say science doesn't prove anything. Therefore, even per your approach, truth claims can't be RATIONALLY made in the name of science. They can only be pontificated.

      Delete
    52. Jeff

      ... I'm perfectly fine with you believing I'm a liar. Because I don't define "liar" the way that you do.


      Of course you don't. Any lie told for Jesus isn't really a lie to you because it serves a greater good, right?

      The only point I was trying to make is that to claim SUCH (meaning either of the 2 consensus views of macroevolution) nonsense is true is to either lie or reveal you're an idiot.

      You weren't talking about macroevolution. You made the specific claim that some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact. You still can't provide a single name or reference to back that up.

      BTW Captain Logic, having something be the consensus view doesn't mean it is claimed to be a fact. The consensus view of Amelia Earhart's disappearance is that she ditched her plane somewhere near Gardner Island, but no one is claiming that as a fact.

      You came up with a big fat lie to push your IDC nonsense, you got called on it. Your continued squirming and twisting to justify the lie is just pathetic.

      Delete
    53. Thorton: You weren't talking about macroevolution.

      Jeff: Newsflash, moron: the inference to UCA is a species of macroevolutionary inference. So YES, I was talking about macroevolution.

      Thorton: BTW Captain Logic, having something be the consensus view doesn't mean it is claimed to be a fact.

      Jeff: Newsflash, moron: I never said it did.

      Delete
    54. Jeff

      Thorton: You weren't talking about macroevolution.

      Jeff: Newsflash, moron: the inference to UCA is a species of macroevolutionary inference. So YES, I was talking about macroevolution.


      That has nothing to do with the lie you told, when you said some scientists claim UCA is known to be a fact.

      You lied, you got caught. Your pathetic refusal to take responsibility only makes it worse.

      Thorton: BTW Captain Logic, having something be the consensus view doesn't mean it is claimed to be a fact.

      Jeff: Newsflash, moron: I never said it did.


      Yes liar, you did.

      "Jeff: The only point I was trying to make is that to claim SUCH (meaning either of the 2 consensus views of macroevolution) nonsense is true is to either lie or reveal you're an idiot."

      I retract what I said before. Not only are you a liar, you're a particularly stupid one.

      Delete
    55. Thorton: Yes liar, you did.

      "Jeff: The only point I was trying to make is that to claim SUCH (meaning either of the 2 consensus views of macroevolution) nonsense is true is to either lie or reveal you're an idiot."

      Jeff: Wrong, moron. The book is called "Why Evolution is True." And by evolution, the consensus view is meant, not evolution in terms of the SA most creationists would accept.

      But you see, moron, I have enough sense to know you're not necessarily lying when you say such false statements. I suspect you just don't think before impulsively exploding into a tantrum.

      Sometimes I don't think things through either. But by now, I would think you would pay attention to the relevant point. Regardless, your distractions and obfuscations are of no avail, I assure you.

      Delete
    56. Jeff

      Wrong, moron. The book is called "Why Evolution is True." And by evolution, the consensus view is meant, not evolution in terms of the SA most creationists would accept.


      Which still has nothing to do with the lie you told when you claimed some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact. Squirm yourself deeper into the slime there Jeff.

      Sometimes I don't think things through either.

      I'm sure you never think these lies through before you tell them.

      Delete
    57. Thorton: Jeff

      Wrong, moron. The book is called "Why Evolution is True." And by evolution, the consensus view is meant, not evolution in terms of the SA most creationists would accept.

      Which still has nothing to do with the lie you told when you claimed some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact. Squirm yourself deeper into the slime there Jeff.

      Jeff: On the contrary. It has everything to do with the point of my claim. The point of my claim was to give an example of their idiocy. Coyne's book does precisely that.

      By your view, they're even more idiotic since you and Koonin think UCA is HANDS DOWN the more plausible of the set of evolutionary options considered to contain the TRUTH. You're just as idiotic as they are. But it'll be alright. You'll see.

      Delete
    58. Jeff

      On the contrary. It has everything to do with the point of my claim. The point of my claim was to give an example of their idiocy. Coyne's book does precisely that.


      Please cite the exact page in Coyne's book where Coyne states UCA is known to be a fact.

      You can't, because he never wrote that. No scientist has. You were lying.

      You're still squirming to get out of the lie you told. Won't work Jeff. Retract and apologize if you want to move on.

      Delete
    59. I already have retracted my erroneous generalization. But Coyne remains an idiot, regardless, for even believing there's a way to show his ACTUAL generalization is TRUE. Indeed, if Koonin and Theobald are right, Coyne is even MORE idiotic than I'm claiming.

      Delete
    60. Jeff

      I already have retracted my erroneous generalization.


      It's not your erroneous generalization that needs retracting. It's the specific lie you told when you claimed some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact.

      Please make a specific retraction and we'll be done.

      Delete
    61. I specifically admitted that Coyne was allowing for ancestry from multiple single-celled organisms as well as one. But Koonin thinks UCA is CLEARLY the more plausible of the two. So my point that they are idiots for thinking they know WHY one of the two scenarios is TRUE is idiocy, regardless.

      Delete
    62. Jeff

      I specifically admitted that Coyne was allowing for ancestry from multiple single-celled organisms as well as one. But Koonin thinks UCA is CLEARLY the more plausible of the two. So my point that they are idiots for thinking they know WHY one of the two scenarios is TRUE is idiocy, regardless.


      Neither of them ever said UCA is known to be a fact, which is what you claimed some scientists say.

      You keep tap dancing around your lie but the egg is still suck to your face. You lied, you got caught. You need to retract.

      Delete
    63. Define retraction as you mean it. At this point, I have no idea what you're asking of me.

      Delete
    64. Jeff

      Define retraction as you mean it. At this point, I have no idea what you're asking of me.


      Tsk tsk tsk...still more wriggling and squirming, anything but correct your transgression.

      I'm asking you to retract the lie you told when you said some scientists state UCA is known to be a fact.

      You can look up the definition of retraction online.

      Delete
    65. re·tract

      1. to withdraw (a statement, opinion, etc.) as inaccurate or unjustified, especially formally or explicitly; take back.

      I can't withdraw the statement, because I can't delete the post. I explicitly "admitted" that Coyne was allowing for CA back to multiple single-celled organisms rather than just one.

      So as it turns out, you're just an idiot. But why is that a surprise? So is Coyne. You see, your correction of my erroroneous wording has shown Coyne to be even more of an idiot than he would have been per my original claim.

      Sorry about that. But I'm really bad about giving people WAY more benefit of the doubt than they deserve.

      Delete
    66. Jeff

      I can't withdraw the statement, because I can't delete the post. I explicitly "admitted" that Coyne was allowing for CA back to multiple single-celled organisms rather than just one.


      Which still has nothing to do with the lie you told; some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact.

      So as it turns out, you're too much of a cowardly moron to admit it and retract. You'd rather keep making a fool out of yourself with the evasions and tap dancing. So be it.

      Delete
    67. I'm truly in awe with your idiocy. I've never seen it exceeded. The only way you're saying something logically relevant is if you're whining over a technicality in your definition that has nothing to do with the idiocy claim for Coyne, e.g. But that's just another way of saying you're a complete idiot. Coyne is an idiot no matter what you're driving at.

      Delete
    68. Jeff

      The only way you're saying something logically relevant is if you're whining over a technicality in your definition that has nothing to do with the idiocy claim for Coyne


      This has nothing to do with a "logically equivalent" technicality in a definition or with Coyne.

      It only has to do with the lie you told; some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact.

      The honest thing to do would be to admit you made it up and retract. You're not very honest or very bright though.

      Delete
    69. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    70. You're right, Thorton. I'm not that bright. And yet you're a moron by comparison to me, even. Indeed, the only way you could know I'm lying is if you can read my mind. So if you can't read minds, you're a complete idiot for thinking you can. But if you can read minds, you're a complete idiot for wasting time on this forum when you have such a valuable competency that could be better use elsewhere. You're a complete idiot.

      Delete
    71. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    72. Jeff

      You're right, Thorton. I'm not that bright.


      You're not that honest either, as evidenced by your refusal to retract your lie some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact.

      Is is pretty funny that your ego keeps you coming back to defend your dishonesty. Pretty telling too.

      Delete
    73. Actually, what WOULD be funny, if it weren't so sad, is that you actually believe you're a mind-reader--one who nevertheless waste's time on this forum. Amazing.

      And even 7-year olds know what the phrase "Why evolution is TRUE" means.

      Delete
    74. Jeff

      And even 7-year olds know what the phrase "Why evolution is TRUE" means.


      Even 7-year olds know that lying is wrong.

      Even 7-year olds know better that to tell an easily caught lie like your some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact.

      An adult would be mature enough to confess and retract when he got caught in a lie like you did. But obviously that leaves you out.

      Delete
    75. Adults know what "retract" and "confess" mean. I'm not asking you to grow up, though. I want you calm.

      Delete
    76. Jeff

      Adults know what "retract" and "confess" mean.


      Then you must not be an adult, otherwise you'd admit and retract your blatant lie: some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact.

      Delete
    77. You have to know 2 things to know that I've lied thus. You have to know the statement is false, AND you have to know that I intentionally made the statement KNOWING it was false. I don't know that it is false. And neither do you, despite the fact that you think you're omniscient enough to know it.

      Here's a recent quote I saw from Dawkin's new book:

      “ … mice, buffaloes, iguanas, wallabies, snails, dandelions, golden eagles, mushrooms, whales, wombats and bacteria. All are our cousins. Every last one of them. … And the most wonderful thing of all is that we know for certain it is literally true” (p. 52).

      For all I know, he's meaning by that statement that he knows UCA to be true.

      Regardless, Coyne, for sure, claims he knows WHY evolution (defined as involving common ancestry back to single-celled-like organisms in the Precambrian) is TRUE. Thus, he IS an idiot.

      Delete
    78. Amazing. This OP is buried 5 pages deep and you're still trying to justify your blatant lie: some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact.

      Do you often lie about things to try and make points in real life?

      Delete
    79. On the contrary, dear moron. It matters not which one claims to be TRUE or KNOWABLE FACT, whether it be UCA or that bacteria are cousins to humans. In either case, the claim is moronic on its face. There is no conceivable rational mode of inference that could warrant that claim, or even show it to be plausible, for that matter. You're just an idiot infatuated by other idiots.

      Delete
    80. Wow Jeff, still pushing your same blatant lie: some scientists say UCA is known to be a fact.

      Amazing that your ego is so damaged that you're still trying to squirm out of retracting the lie.

      Delete
  36. CH:"Myers makes no such careful distinction."

    He doesn't need to, because neither ILS nor an extended phase hybridisation are able to provide explanations for the parallel accelerations. While you can and have argued that he failed to address what you perceive as the main problems for evolutionary theory, you should not claim that he tried to address them using ILS.

    CH:"[W]e consistently meet with unexpected findings. Can parallel accelerations be absorbed into the mechanistic framework? Of course. That and a million other strange findings can, in a post hoc manner, be explained."

    I don't see the findings as unexpected or contradictory, because I don't think that evolutionary theory is able to make a lot of powerful predictions about individual genes in complex, interactive genomes when those predictions are based on phenotypic outcomes. The parallel accelerations are interesting, and should certainly give pause to those generating historical selectionist explanations, but beyond this I really don't see the problem.

    CH:"[T]he chimp does not share the hearing-related parallel accelerations (which were ascribed to human language). And the gorilla shares more parallel accelerations with the human than the chimp."

    I do not know the cause of the accelerations in the human and gorilla lineages, nor why they did not occur in the chimp lineage. But, to reiterate, the speculation regarding positive selection for human language would not be compelling even if the accelerations were human-specific. This can only ever be an a posteriori explanation for the observation of accelerated genetic change. At the level of molecular evolution, we predict two different causes of accelerations - one is positive selection and the other is relaxed purifying selection. Any number of environmental changes (or population changes) could affect these dual selective pressures, complicated by single genes not neatly correlating with single traits in many cases. The point is, we may not ever now beyond broad speculation what the conditions and their effects might have been. Frustratingly, positive selection is often assumed when its alternative has not been ruled out, further complicating the picture.

    This is why my focus is more on the population-genetic framework of molecular evolution. We understand mutation, drift, selection, gene flow. We can observe them happening. Therefore, it is not a terrible leap to extrapolate these processes back over time to explore what has happened in hominid history. The extrapolation assumes little more than that the rules haven't changed. When we apply what we know to these lineages, morphological and molecular data converge: humans and chimpanzees are closely related, gorillas are more distant, orang-utans more distant again.

    Importantly, despite parallel accelerations, the genetic data converge on this previously known phylogeny. I can even make a prediction: although I haven't seen the sequence data from gorilla genome I can predict those accelerated genes will form the same phylogeny. They are less likely to be affected by ILS because of the principle of background selection (reducing the effective population size of functional loci, meaning shallower coalescence). And although they are accelerated, potentially by the same selective pressures, the sequences will have continued to diverge.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Research in recent years by leading (evolutionist) geneticists has revealed catastrophically high mutation rates in humans. This would be a good thing if mutations really cause upward evolution. Instead the human race is plunging toward extinction. Based on data from genetics humans could not have been evolving for millions of years, we would already be extinct. ~

    Human evolution or extinction - video - with Dr. John Sanford
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC_NyFZG7pM&feature=share

    ReplyDelete
  38. batspit77

    Research in recent years by leading (evolutionist) geneticists has revealed catastrophically high mutation rates in humans. This would be a good thing if mutations really cause upward evolution. Instead the human race is plunging toward extinction. Based on data from genetics humans could not have been evolving for millions of years, we would already be extinct.


    Sure thing Batspit. That's why the world's population increased by 1400 times from an estimated 5 million in 5000BC to over 7 billion today, because we're going extinct.

    ReplyDelete