Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Member of the National Academy of Sciences Made an Argument For Evolution That Isn’t Even Wrong

An obvious problem with evolution is its claim that complex designs arose spontaneously. Imagine some spark plugs, valves and other assorted mechanical parts coming together to form an engine. It’s unlikely no matter how many years you have. What evolutionists would need to show is that there is a long, long sequence of simpler, intermediate designs which gradually lead from a lifeless warm little pond to the incredible species in today’s world. Of course they have shown no such thing—not even close. So instead evolutionists use sophistry—explanations that are so flawed and illogical they cannot even be said to be wrong. For example, professor and National Academy of Sciences member John Avise makes this argument:

Another ID sentiment is that the emergence of biotic complexity via natural processes (unlike under intelligent auspices) is highly improbable, a notion that proponents of ID sometimes claim to document statistically. An undisputed law of statistics states that the probability of the joint occurrence of two or more independent events is calculated by multiplying together the separate probabilities of those events. For example, suppose that independent events A and B occur with random probabilities of 1 in 10 million (i.e., 10^-7) and 1 in 100 million (10^-8), respectively. The probability that both events occur together, by chance, is thus minuscule: one in a quadrillion (i.e., 10^-7 x 10^-8 = 10^-15). Mutations are examples of such rare and independent events, each typically occurring at a rate of about 10^-7 or 10^-8 per gene per generation. Suppose that a complex adaptation (such as a metabolic resistance to two different categories of otherwise lethal drugs) requires the joint presence in an organism of two mechanistically independent mutations. A proponent of ID might conclude that this adaptation is effectively unachievable by natural forces because its random probability is so very low. Divine intervention then becomes the default explanation.

But this is a gross misapplication of statistics, as the following example will illustrate. Consider a small colony of a billion bacterial cells, housed in a test tube, that lacks the genetic capacity to survive the antibiotics penicillin and streptomycin. New mutations for penicillin resistance (p+) and streptomycin resistance (s+) are known to arise randomly in bacteria, at low frequency. If the mutation rate to p+ is a plausible 10^-7, then a culture of 10^9 bacteria should by chance contain about 100 cells with penicillin resistance. When penicillin is added to the culture, all bacteria die except for those lucky 100 cells which then quickly divide and multiply to bring their number back up to a billion cells (all now carrying the p+ mutation). In this new colony, about 10 cells should by chance be resistant to streptomycin, assuming that the mutation rate to s+ is a plausible 10^-8. If streptomycin is then added to the culture, all of the bacteria die except for these 10 cells, which again divide and multiply to repopulate the test tube with a billion descendants (all of which are now p+ and s+ jointly). By this stepwise process, the unconscious operation of selection has made virtually inevitable what might otherwise have been deemed impossible—the evolution of a complex adaptation. [Inside the Human Genome, Oxford, 2010, p. 33-5]

The logic here is astonishing. In the hands of the evolutionist a failure of his theory is transformed into a victory with what can only be described as sheer absurdity. The underlying, unspoken, premise is that the stepwise fixation of single, high fitness, point mutations is no different than the evolution of all biological complexities. In fact there are precisely zero such designs that are known to be constructable via such a sequence. Indeed, quite the opposite, science points us in the opposite direction. Even the evolution a single protein falls 27 orders of magnitude short of reality, and that is according to evolutionist’s own, outrageously optimistic assumptions.

Avise’s argument is simply jaw-dropping. It is a complete misrepresentation of what we know from science.

1. But, many people, including myself, would be impressed with the Academy's explanation without having someone elucidate it further. Shinning such light upon explanations such as this is something the ID community regularly does. I, for one, am grateful for that.

2. "virtually inevitable" is something for us creationists to hang on our walls .
Randomness brings the glory of biology with the force of gravity.
A physics of randomness guaranteeing the early warm soup a future of biological diversity to be awed at and that will study itself.

They really are intimidated by the great criticism of creationist thinkers or regular folks of the unlikeliness that mind numbing numbers of random mutations with selection with time created complex biology.
It seems fantastic and impossible that it happened or could happen.
They think so too.

So they try to argue the roll of the dice not only could do this but could not help but do it.

Somebody feels the pressure of excellent arguments of organized creationism(s) that bubbles to buffalos is just not reasonable and not ever that until massive evidence is shown that this could or did happen.

Evolution really was always a line of reasoning from minor data and then the added foreign subjects of geology and genetics that hid the poverty of biological investigation moving the hypothesis to a theory.
Evolution is not a theory but a open hypothesis or what Einstein called a guess in his subject.

They really did back in the day and today just not believe God/Genesis is the origins of all and so something else has to be the origin.
Darwin was accepted too quickly because of this desire.

3. Cornelius, what's next? A critical review of Goldilocks and the Three Bears for its failing to incorporate a statistical mechanics model of why Baby Bear's porridge was just right?

This is a book for nonscientists, some of whom may have read Behe. It is Behe who described antibiotic resistance involving two mutations as "complexity," so you can bring it up with him at the next Discovery Institute wingding. Avise's example here is merely a quick refutation of Behe's sophomoric chloroquine complexity cluster argument, where he stated that an adaptation requiring two mutations was highly unlikely to ever happen, using probabilities calculated as if both of these mutations would have to have occurred in the same individual. This is not a strawman; this was Behe's actual argument. There are multiple ways in which such an adaptation could have occurred. As in the Avise example, the first mutation could have risen to high frequency first due to selection, and then later the second mutation rose to high frequency due to a new selection regime. Alternatively, they simply may have come together through recombination at low frequencies and then fixed rapidly together under the new selection regime.

1. anax states: "Behe's sophomoric chloroquine complexity cluster argument, where he stated that an adaptation requiring two mutations was highly unlikely to ever happen,"

Well anax, save for the fact that it is not an 'argument' but an observed empirical fact you may have had a valid point:

Waiting Longer for Two Mutations - Michael J. Behe
Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that 'for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years' (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless "using their model" gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

2. The number 10^20 comes from the following review: White, N. J. 2004. Antimalarial drug resistance. J. Clin. Invest. 113:1084-92.

Resistance to chloroquine in P. falciparum has arisen spontaneously less than ten times in the past fifty years (14). This suggests that the per-parasite probability of developing resistance de novo is on the order of 1 in 10^20 parasite multiplications.

However, previously: N J White and W Pongtavornpinyo, 2003. The de novo selection of drug-resistant malaria parasites. Proc Biol Sci. 270: 545–554, wrote:

The estimates for chloroquine and artemisinin are speculative. In the former case, this assumes two events in 10 years of use with exposure of 10% of the world’s falciparum malaria (Burgess & Young 1959; Martin & Arnold 1968; Looareesuwan et al. 1996; Su et al. 1997.)

So much for Behe's "empirical statistic." It was a guess based on questionable assumptions.

3. anaxyrus

It is Behe who described antibiotic resistance involving two mutations as "complexity," so you can bring it up with him at the next Discovery Institute wingding.

I'm not sure Behe and Cornelius are on speaking terms. After all, Behe has repeatedly stated that he accepts human-chimp common ancestry. Cornelius has opined that accepting human-chimp common ancestry makes you a lying fool.

4. Well actually Pendant, I thought Dr. Behe was being much to modest in his citation of 10^20. I personally would have opted for this citation to show how limited neo-Darwinism is shown to be:

The Paradox of the "Ancient" (250 Million Year Old) Bacterium Which Contains "Modern" Protein-Coding Genes:
“Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ;
http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/19/9/1637

Further note:

In reply to a personal e-mail from myself, Dr. Cano commented on the 'Fitness Test' I had asked him about on ancient bacterium revived from spores recovered from amber:

Dr. Cano stated: "We performed such a test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative "ancient" B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the amber isolate.":
Fitness test which compared ancient bacteria to its modern day descendants, RJ Cano and MK Borucki

Thus, the most solid evidence available for the most ancient DNA scientists are able to find does not support evolution happening on the molecular level of bacteria. In fact, according to the fitness test of Dr. Cano, the change witnessed in bacteria conforms to the exact opposite, Genetic Entropy; a loss of functional information/complexity, since fewer substrates and fatty acids are utilized by the modern strains.

Further note:

AMBER: THE LOOKING GLASS INTO THE PAST:
Excerpt: These (fossilized bacteria) cells are actually very similar to present day cyanobacteria. This is not only true for an isolated case but many living genera of cyanobacteria can be linked to fossil cyanobacteria. The detail noted in the fossils of this group gives indication of extreme conservation of morphology, more extreme than in other organisms.
http://bcb705.blogspot.com/2007/03/amber-looking-glass-into-past_23.html

Static evolution: is pond scum the same now as billions of years ago?
Excerpt: But what intrigues (paleo-biologist) J. William Schopf most is lack of change. Schopf was struck 30 years ago by the apparent similarities between some 1-billion-year-old fossils of blue-green bacteria and their modern microbial microbial. "They surprisingly looked exactly like modern species," Schopf recalls. Now, after comparing data from throughout the world, Schopf and others have concluded that modern pond scum differs little from the ancient blue-greens. "This similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times," says Schopf. As evidence, he cites the 3,000 such fossils found;
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Static+evolution%3A+is+pond+scum+the+same+now+as+billions+of+years+ago%3F-a014909330

5. anaxyrus:

This is a book for nonscientists, some of whom may have read Behe.

Actually the book has quite a bit of detail. There are quite a few detailed tables and figures. And regarding this passage where Avise rebukes arguments from complexity, no, it is not a particular refutation of a particular argument from Behe. It is a refutation of the argument from biotic complexity.

Perhaps Einstein would say examples should be as simple as possible but no simpler. Well here the problem is not merely that the example is a bit too simple. It is simply a monumental misrepresentation.

The fact that evolutionists defend it demonstrates that this is a more general problem, not merely a one-time mistake by Avise.

4. I wonder if John Avise really believes his own arguments. How can anyone not be aware of the flaws in that logic?

5. Avise, and other neo-Darwinists, seem to think that ID proponents are completely unaware of the step by step argument of neo-Darwinism. Yet it is precisely this step by step claim that has been tested by ID proponents and is shown to be severely short of explaining the massive integrated complexity we find in life. In fact Dr. Behe question exactly that step by step claim and found that the generation of just two protein-protein binding sites was beyond the reach of this step by step process (Edge Of Evolution). Dr. Axe, and others (including evolutionists), have shown that novel functional proteins themselves are beyond the reach of this step by step process. Whereas Seelke and Gauger have shown that even a 'simple' short two step path is beyond the reach of neo-Darwinian processes:

Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness - May 2010
Excerpt: The presence of these two mutations prevents tryptophan biosynthesis. One of the mutations is partially inactivating, while the other is fully inactivating, thus permitting a two-step adaptive path to full tryptophan biosynthesis.,,,, Despite the theoretical existence of this short adaptive path to high fitness, multiple independent lines grown in tryptophan-limiting liquid culture failed to take it. Instead, cells consistently acquired mutations that reduced expression of the double-mutant trpA gene. Our results show that competition between reductive and constructive paths may significantly decrease the likelihood that a particular constructive path will be taken.
http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.2

Moreover Dr. Axe and Dr. Gauger have also shown that changing a existing protein to another function is beyond the reach of this step by step process:

Following the Evidence Where It Leads: Observations on Dembski's Exchange with Shapiro - Ann Gauger - January 2012
Excerpt: So far, our research indicates that genuine innovation, a change to a function not already pre-existent in a protein, is beyond the reach of natural processes, even when the starting proteins are very similar in structure.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/01/observations_re055171.html

Moreover, the work from neo-Darwinists themselves agrees with Dr. Axe's and Gauger's findings:

Dollo’s law, the symmetry of time, and the edge of evolution - Michael Behe - Oct 2009
Excerpt: Nature has recently published an interesting paper which places severe limits on Darwinian evolution.,,,
A time-symmetric Dollo’s law turns the notion of “pre-adaptation” on its head. The law instead predicts something like “pre-sequestration”, where proteins that are currently being used for one complex purpose are very unlikely to be available for either reversion to past functions or future alternative uses.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/10/dollos_law_the_symmetry_of_tim.html

Severe Limits to Darwinian Evolution: - Michael Behe - Oct. 2009
Excerpt: The immediate, obvious implication is that the 2009 results render problematic even pretty small changes in structure/function for all proteins — not just the ones he worked on.,,,Thanks to Thornton’s impressive work, we can now see that the limits to Darwinian evolution are more severe than even I had supposed.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/10/severe_limits_to_darwinian_evo.html#more

1. Your confusion is that because there may not be a stepwise path in one instance that there can't be a stepwise path in another, or that traits might be linked. Resistance to one antibiotic may confer or potentiate resistance to another.

2. Refuting Dawkins Mount Improbable - Doug Axe - Video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4018222

Of related note:

Dawkins Claimed Best Evidence For Evolution Refuted - video

Dawkins Caught Lying for Darwin - video

3. Sorry, we don't do video. Please post a citation to the scientific literature. It might be helpful if you state your position and explain why the citation supports your position.

4. Sorry Zach, I don't do your research for you since you have no intention of being fair with the evidence anyway.

5. bornagain: I don't do your research for you since you have no intention of being fair with the evidence anyway.

6. @bornagain77

I'm an avid ID proponent and I enjoy perusing the notes you post, but Zachriel has a point about the videos. Their summed length is 15 minutes. Why not just quote the points you want to present for debate?

7. Well Joe, I personally feel the videos are much more effective for clearly stating a point. Moreover, the papers Zach wanted me to look up for him are papers that he has seen before and could google by himself in just a few seconds. He is simply being obstinate when he makes such petty requests, As if he had any intention of being honest.

6. What evolutionists would need to show is that there is a long, long sequence of simpler, intermediate designs which gradually lead from a lifeless warm little pond to the incredible species in today’s world.

Here are some observations that pertain:*

The basic timeline of a 4.6 billion year old Earth, with approximate dates:

3.8 billion years of simple cells (prokaryotes),

3.4 billion years of stromatolites demonstrating photosynthesis,

2 billion years of complex cells (eukaryotes),

1 billion years of multicellular life,

600 million years of simple animals,

570 million years of arthropods (ancestors of insects, arachnids and crustaceans),

550 million years of complex animals,

500 million years of fish and proto-amphibians,

475 million years of land plants,

400 million years of insects and seeds,

360 million years of amphibians,

300 million years of reptiles,

200 million years of mammals,

150 million years of birds,

130 million years of flowers,

65 million years since the dinosaurs died out,

2.5 million years since the appearance of the genus Homo,

200,000 years of anatomically modern humans,

25,000 years since the disappearance of Neanderthal traits from the fossil record.

13,000 years since the disappearance of Homo floresiensis from the fossil record.

-------
*Wikipedia article: Timeline of evolutionary history of life

1. What is interesting in Pedant's preceding timeline, besides the many omitted anomalies, is that it misleads people to 'fill in the blanks' with imaginary transitional fossils that are simply not there.

For example, 'Simple' photosynthetic life appears suddenly, in the oldest sedimentary rocks found on earth, with no evidence of pre-biotic precursors:

The Sudden Appearance Of Photosynthetic Life On Earth - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4262918

U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland - indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003)

The Primordial Soup Myth:
Excerpt: The concept of a primitive "thick soup" or "primordial broth" is one of the most persistent ideas at the same time that is most strongly contraindicated by thermodynamic reasoning and by lack of experimental support." - Sidney Fox, Klaus Dose on page 37 in Molecular Evolution and the Origin of Life. http://theory-of-evolution.net/chap11/primordial-soup-myth.php

Does the Chemistry of the Cell Point to Its Origin in Darwin's "Warm Little Pond"? - February 23, 2012
Excerpt: Studies have indicated that the earliest life may be older than the oldest known rocks, which are dated at 4 billion years old.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/does_the_cells056641.html

2. Moreover there is no evidence that eukaryotes ever evolved from prokaryotes;

Did DNA replication evolve twice independently? - Koonin
Excerpt: However, several core components of the bacterial (DNA) replication machinery are unrelated or only distantly related to the functionally equivalent components of the archaeal/eukaryotic (DNA) replication apparatus.,,, Consequently, the modern-type system for double-stranded DNA replication likely evolved independently in the bacterial and archaeal/eukaryotic lineages.
http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/27/17/3389

Was our oldest ancestor a proton-powered rock?
Excerpt: In particular, the detailed mechanics of DNA replication would have been quite different. It looks as if DNA replication evolved independently in bacteria and archaea,... Even more baffling, says Martin, neither the cell membranes nor the cell walls have any details in common.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427306.200-was-our-oldest-ancestor-a-protonpowered-rock.html?page=1

Nor is there any evidence that single cells can form anything other than 'simple aggregates':

"We go from single cell protozoa. which would be ameoba and things like that. Then you get into some that are a little bit bigger, still single cell, and then you get aggregates, they're still individual cells that aggregate together. They don't seem to have much in the way of cooperation,,, but when you really talk about a functioning organism, that has more than just one type of cell, you are talking about a sponge and you can have hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of cells. So we don't really have organisms that function with say two different types of cells, but there is only five total. We don't have anything like that." - Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin - quote taken from 31:00 minute mark of this video
Natural Limits to Biological Change 2/2 - video

Nor is there any experimental evidence to suggest such a transition from single cell aggregates to a functioning organism:

More Darwinian Degradation - M. Behe - January 2012
Excerpt: Recently a paper appeared by Ratcliff et al. (2012) entitled “Experimental evolution of mulitcellularity” and received a fair amount of press attention, including a story in the New York Times.,,, It seems to me that Richard Lenski, who knows how to get the most publicity out of exceedingly modest laboratory results, has taught his student well. In fact, the results can be regarded as the loss of two pre-existing abilities: 1) the loss of the ability to separate from the mother cell during cell division; and 2) the loss of control of apoptosis.

In fact Dr. Meyer's next book is going to be on the sheer inability of neo-Darwinian processes to explain the origination of 'Body-Plan' information from single cells:

Here is a sneak peek at his forthcoming book:

Dr. Stephen Meyer: Why Are We Still Debating Darwin? pt. 2 - podcast
http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2012-05-23T13_26_22-07_00

3. Moreover, there is no evidence that the Cambrian explosion can be explained by Ediacara biota :

The Avalon Explosion:
Excerpt: Ediacara fossils [575 to 542 million years ago (Ma)] represent Earth's oldest known complex macroscopic life forms,,, A comprehensive quantitative analysis of these fossils indicates that the oldest Ediacara assemblage—the Avalon assemblage (575 to 565 Ma)—already encompassed the full range of Ediacara morphospace. (i.e. they appeared abruptly in the fossil record and retained their same basic shape and form throughout their tenure in the fossil record before they went extinct prior to the Cambrian explosion.)
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/319/5859/81

Macroscopic life in the Palaeoproterozoic - July 2010
Excerpt: The Ediacaran fauna shows that soft-bodied animals were preserved in the Precambrian, even in coarse sandstone beds, suggesting that (the hypothetical transitional) fossils are not found because they were not there.
http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2010/07/02/macroscopic_life_in_the_palaeoproterozoi

Response to John Wise - October 2010
"So, where then are those ancestors? Fossil preservation conditions were adequate to preserve animals such as jellyfish, corals, and sponges, as well as the Ediacaran fauna. It does not appear that scarcity is a fault of the fossil record."
Sean Carroll developmental biologist
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/10/response_to_john_wise038811.html

And the Cambrian Explosion is certainly not what neo-Darwinism expected:

"The Cambrian Explosion was so short that it is below the resolution of the fossil record. It could have happened overnight. So we don't know the duration of the Cambrian Explosion. We just know that it was very, very, fast."
Jonathan Wells - Darwin's Dilemma Quote

Darwin's Dilemma - Excellent Cambrian Explosion Movie

Deepening Darwin's Dilemma - Jonathan Wells - The Cambrian Explosion - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4154263

4. Moreover, the subsequent sudden appearances of different forms of life on earth, after the Cambrian, is certainly not the smooth, gradual, process that Pedant would like to lead people to believe:

Punctuated Equilibrium and Patterns from the Fossil Record - Casey Luskin
Excerpt: “The Cambrian Explosion is by no means the only “explosion” in the fossil record. One evolutionist concedes that for the origin of fishes, “this is one count in the creationists’ charge that can only evoke in unison from paleontologists a plea of nolo contendere [no contest].” Plant biologists have called the origin of plants an “explosion,” saying, “the … radiation of land (plant) biotas is the terrestrial equivalent of the much-debated Cambrian ‘explosion’ of marine faunas.” Vertebrate paleontologists believe there was a mammal explosion because of the few transitional forms between major mammal groups: “There are all sorts of gaps: absence of gradationally intermediate ‘transitional’ forms between species, but also between larger groups — between, say, families of carnivores, or the orders of mammals.” Another study, “Evolutionary Explosions and the Phylogenetic Fuse,” found a bird (as well as a mammal) “Early Tertiary ‘explosion’” because many bird and mammal groups appear in a short time period lacking immediately recognizable ancestral forms. Finally, others have called the origin of our own genus Homo, “a genetic revolution” where “no australopithecine (ape) species is obviously transitional” leading one commentator to call it, like others called the Cambrian Explosion, a “big bang theory” of human evolution."
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1232

As well, completely contrary to Darwinian thought, there is actually very strong evidence that the earth was 'intentionally prepared', over a long period of time, for the eventual appearance of man on earth

The Creation of Minerals:
Excerpt: Thanks to the way life was introduced on Earth, the early 250 mineral species have exploded to the present 4,300 known mineral species. And because of this abundance, humans possessed all the necessary mineral resources to easily launch and sustain global, high-technology civilization.
http://www.reasons.org/The-Creation-of-Minerals

"Today there are about 4,400 known minerals - more than two-thirds of which came into being only because of the way life changed the planet. Some of them were created exclusively by living organisms" - Bob Hazen - Smithsonian - Oct. 2010, pg. 54

To put it mildly, the minimization of poisonous elements on the primordial earth, by sulfate reducing bacteria etc.. etc.., and the 'explosion' of useful minerals by life, is strong evidence for Intelligently Designed terra-forming of the earth that 'just so happens' to be of great benefit to modern man.

Dr. Ross points out that the extremely long amount of time it took to prepare a suitable place for humans to exist in this universe, for the relatively short period of time that we can exist on this planet, is actually a point of evidence that argues strongly for Theism:

Hugh Ross - The Anthropic Principle and The Anthropic Inequality - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8494065/

further note:

The Privileged Planet - video

5. bornagain77: What is interesting in Pedant's preceding timeline, besides the many omitted anomalies, is that it misleads people to 'fill in the blanks' with imaginary transitional fossils that are simply not there.

They are the transitionals. But for each one, there are two new Gaps!!

6. You live in a dream world Zach, where unfounded rationalizations, no matter how bizarre, are taken as solid evidence.

7. bornagain77: You live in a dream world

Not an argument. Primitive reptiles are the intermediate between amphibians and mammals. That creates two new gaps.

Do you have a specific alternative explanation that explains such transitions over hundreds of millions of years?

8. Regardless of what you see in your imagination, there are no transitional species in the fossil (gene) record. It is all top down introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times:

A. L. Hughes's New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago - Wolf-Ekkehard LĂ¶nnig - December 2011
Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species' particular environment....By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became "heritable". -- As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The "remainder" has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) -- in the formation of secondary species.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/12/a_l_hughess_new053881.html

The unscientific hegemony of uniformitarianism - David Tyler - May 2011
Excerpt: The pervasive pattern of natural history: disparity precedes diversity,,,, The summary of results for phyla is as follows. The pattern reinforces earlier research that concluded the Explosion is not an artefact of sampling. Much the same finding applies to the appearance of classes. These data are presented in Figures 1 and 2 in the paper.
http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2011/05/16/the_unscientific_hegemony_of_uniformitar

Origin of Phyla - The Fossil Evidence - Timeline Graph

Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
"In Chen’s view, his evidence supports a history of life that runs opposite to the standard evolutionary tree diagrams, a progression he calls top-down evolution." Jun-Yuan Chen is professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology
http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm

In Explaining the Cambrian Explosion, Has the TalkOrigins Archive Resolved Darwin's Dilemma? - JonathanM - May 2012
Excerpt: it is the pattern of morphological disparity preceding diversity that is fundamentally at odds with the neo-Darwinian scenario of gradualism. All of the major differences (i.e. the higher taxonomic categories such as phyla) appear first in the fossil record and then the lesser taxonomic categories such as classes, orders, families, genera and species appear later. On the Darwinian view, one would expect to see all of the major differences in body plan appear only after numerous small-scale speciation events. But this is not what we observe.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/05/has_the_talk-or059171.html

9. bornagain: Regardless of what you see in your imagination, there are no transitional species in the fossil (gene) record. It is all top down introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times:

We're particularly interested in the history when mammals appeared on the scene. Not even sure how the phrase the question, but what was the fossil "kind", and when was the time, that the first mammal was introduced? Can you be specific? Was this organism descended from other organisms, or did it suddenly appear with all its features?

10. How about seeing if man came from Chimps?

When we consider the remote past, before the origin of the actual species Homo sapiens, we are faced with a fragmentary and disconnected fossil record. Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists, no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor.
Richard Lewontin - Harvard Zoologist
http://www.discovery.org/a/9961

Evolution of the Genus Homo - Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences - Tattersall, Schwartz, May 2009
Excerpt: "Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5–1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis."
http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.earth.031208.100202

Man is indeed as unique, as different from all other animals, as had been traditionally claimed by theologians and philosophers. Evolutionist Ernst Mayr
http://www.y-origins.com/index.php?p=home_more4

“Something extraordinary, if totally fortuitous, happened with the birth of our species….Homo sapiens is as distinctive an entity as exists on the face of the Earth, and should be dignified as such instead of being adulterated with every reasonably large-brained hominid fossil that happened to come along.”
Anthropologist Ian Tattersall
(curator at the American Museum of Natural History)

“We have all seen the canonical parade of apes, each one becoming more human. We know that, as a depiction of evolution, this line-up is tosh (i.e. nonsense). Yet we cling to it. Ideas of what human evolution ought to have been like still colour our debates.”
Henry Gee, editor of Nature (478, 6 October 2011, page 34, doi:10.1038/478034a),
http://crev.info/content/111025-blind_men_and_the_ape_man

Hominid Hype and the Election Cycle - Casey Luskin - September 2011
Excerpt: Ignoring fraudulent fossils like Piltdown man, the last 50 years have seen a slew of so-called human ancestors which initially produced hype, and were later disproven.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/09/hominid_hype_and_the_election_050801.html

The supposed Chimp to Man Genetic Evidence is certainly not what Darwinists try to make it out to be either

11. bornagain77: How about seeing if man came from Chimps?

They didn't.

You said, "It is all top down introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times". What was the fossil "kind", and when was the time, that the first mammal was introduced? As specific as possible, please. Was this organism descended from other organisms, or did it suddenly appear with all its features?

12. Sorry 'chimp-like' common ancestor; Zach, since you are so sure that you evolved, why don't you present your evidence thus far and I'll show you why it is all smoke and mirrors?!

13. bornagain77: Sorry 'chimp-like' common ancestor;

Not sure they were very chimp-like, though they were apes of some sort.

You never answered the question. You said, "It is all top down introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times". What was the fossil "kind", and when was the time, that the first mammal was introduced? As specific as possible, please. Was this organism descended from other organisms, or did it suddenly appear with all its features?

14. Zach you 'imagine';

'Not sure they were very chimp-like, though they were apes of some sort.'

Well whatever you may imagine them to be, no one has found any of them, thus they are still only a figment of your imagination:

"Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether". Evolutionist Henry Gee, Nature 2001
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v412/n6843/full/412131a0.html

As to this whole 'Top Down" thing, let's look first and see if 'top down' introduction of life is even possible as far as reality itself is concerned:

Our first hint that it is possible is that space and time are not the 3-Dimensional constructs as Newton had envisioned them to be but space and time are actually a 'higher dimensional' 4-D space-time construct. Needless to say 4-D space-time has a very interesting property:

Where is the centre of the universe?:
Excerpt: There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a "Big Bang" about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/centre.html

Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as 'center of the universe' as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered 'center of the universe'. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, if that’s where you live.

Centrality of Earth Within The 4-Dimensional Space-Time of General Relativity - video
http://www.metacafe.com/w/8421879

Moreover, 'higher dimensional' mathematics had to be developed before Einstein could elucidate General Relativity, or even before Quantum Mechanics could be elucidated;

The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss & Riemann – video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6199520/

Moreover, General Relativity, besides reflecting that space and time issue forth from a 'higher dimension' on a continual basis, also reflects the fact that the universe was created 'top down' from this higher dimension:

Einstein & The Belgian Priest; Georges LamaĂ®tre - The "Father" of the Big Bang
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4279662/

"Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past."
(Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) - 1970

15. And Quantum Mechanics also answers many 'higher dimensional' questions as to the origination and sustaining of the universe:

Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Big Bang

Thus both quantum mechanics and General Relativity reflect that the universe was and is created and sustained from a higher dimension just as Theism has always maintained:

Psalm 115:3
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

Further note:

Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Credible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

Moreover, if we ask does life itself reflect a signature that it was created from a 'higher dimension'? We find out some very interesting things:

i.e. There is a mysterious 'higher dimensional' component to life:

The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
with body size as power laws of the form:

Y = Yo M^b,

where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~drewa/pubs/savage_v_2004_f18_257.pdf

“Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection." Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79
http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/16037/

4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology - video
http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/

16. Although Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for 'random' Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the invariant scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this 'four dimensional scaling' of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional 'expectation' for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an 'emergent' property of the 3-D material realm.

And if we look for physical evidence of 'higher dimensional" information in life, we find it:

Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA - short video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information

Moreover the implications of this 'top down' 'higher dimensional' information, are 'spooky' to borrow Einstein's phrase:

Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff - video (notes in description)
http://vimeo.com/29895068

Quantum Entangled Consciousness (Permanence of Quantum Information)- Life After Death - Stuart Hameroff - video
https://vimeo.com/39982578

As well, as mentioned previously, the fossil record reflects 'top down' implementation of different life forms in that disparity precedes diversity:

etc.. etc..

17. All that ,you would think the odds would be good that by mistake you would have an answer to Zach's twice asked question. When,where and how?

18. Vel, I present empirical evidence of the 'higher dimensional' way reality is actually constructed here and now, and you prefer speculation on historical science. And historical speculation outweighs direct experimental proof in the here and now how exactly?

19. bornagain77: you prefer speculation on historical science.

You introduced the historical dimension when you said, "It is all top down introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times".

What was the fossil "kind", and when was the time, that the first mammal was introduced? As specific as possible, please. Was this organism descended from other organisms, or did it suddenly appear with all its features?

20. So Zach what do you think of the empirical evidence in the here and now that nails 'top down' causation of the universe and life from a higher dimension?? Pretty neat huh! Oh that's right you are a atheist who could care less about hard empirical evidence and are only concerned with distorting the whatever evidence you can to fit your atheistic religion!!!,,, Truly sad Zach!! And since you ignore such wonderful evidence in the here and now that confirms 'higher dimensional' causation, as has been postulated by Theism all along, for both the universe and for life, what in blue blazes makes you think that I will trust you to be objective with any evidence presented to you from the historical record? You must be mad man!

21. Could you distill the best evidence for top down causation? Why does quantum weirdness point to God?

22. 'Why does quantum weirdness point to God?'

Basically, Materialism, since the ancient Greeks, had predicted at the base of physical reality would be a solid indestructible material particle which rigidly obeyed the rules of time and space, Theism predicted the basis of this reality was created by a infinitely powerful and transcendent Being who is not limited by time and space - Quantum mechanics reveals a wave/particle duality for the basis of our reality which blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. -

Materialism predicted that consciousness is a 'emergent property' of material reality and thus has no particular special position within material reality. Theism predicted consciousness preceded material reality and therefore consciousness should have a 'special' position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even central, position within material reality.

Notes:

The Electron - The 'Supernatural' Basis of Reality - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5312315/

Electron entanglement near a superconductor and bell inequalities
Excerpt: The two electrons of these pairs have entangled spin and orbital degrees of freedom.,,, We formulate Bell-type inequalities in terms of current-current cross-correlations associated with contacts with varying magnetization orientations. We find maximal violation (as in photons) when a superconductor is the particle source. (i.e. electrons have a 'non-local', beyond space and time, cause sustaining them.)

Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

Three intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality

23. bornagain77: what do you think of the empirical evidence in the here and now that nails 'top down' causation of the universe and life from a higher dimension??

bornagain77: what in blue blazes makes you think that I will trust you to be objective with any evidence presented to you from the historical record?

You don't have to post it for our benefit, but that of our readers, who may wonder why you won't or can't answer the question.

You introduced the historical dimension when you said, "It is all top down introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times".

What was the fossil "kind", and when was the time, that the first mammal was introduced? As specific as possible, please. Was this organism descended from other organisms, or did it suddenly appear with all its features?

24. Zach, since reality itself reflects top down 'higher dimensional' design why should I cater to your desire to be misleading with the historical evidence?

25. Zachriel, you are plainly out of your depth, since you insist on raising pedantic questions of detail with bornagain, while he has gone to the very nub of the issues raised by you.

The paramount value of statistics in fraud trials, and also, notably, controversies (dubbed by the authorities as the ravings of 'conspiracy nuts'), such as the assassination of John Kennedy, seems to provide a very close analogy with the seminal understanding provided for you by Bornagain, of the wellsprings of the questions you raise.

In the JFK and similar cases, all manner of conflicting putative evidence has been adduced by the authorities and its agents, precisely to muddy the water.

However, an actuary calculated that the odds against the patriots on the grassy knoll, who testified to what they had seen and heard, all dying, albeit of a variety of causes, within the space of three years, amount to an astronomically-improbable figure.

In short, all the physical evidence is redundant - even the compelling physical evidence for a conspiracy. Matey was not a 'lone gunman', there was no magic bullet, it was a very extensive conspiracy on the part of the authorities.

You seem to represent the authorities (at least, metaphorically-speaking) in this scenario, determined to draw everyone's attention away from the seminal certainties, towards what is potentially a gallimauffrey of pedantic questions, in fact, rendered moot by the seminal facts raised by bornagain.

26. The Atheist Doctor - cartoon video

27. Paul: Zachriel, you are plainly out of your depth, since you insist on raising pedantic questions of detail with bornagain, while he has gone to the very nub of the issues raised by you.

Actually, Paul, bornagain77 made a specific claim, about the "introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times". We are trying to determine whether bornagain77 can support the claim, or whether it was empty rhetoric.

28. Actually Zach, you are, as Paul eloquently put it,

"determined to draw everyone's attention away from the seminal certainties, towards what is potentially a gallimauffrey of pedantic questions,"

29. We will take that to mean you withdraw your previous assertion about the "introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times".

30. Paul,

Kudos, why" Matey" ? Homage to Pirate's Alley?

31. Zach, will take it to mean you could care less what the empirical evidence actually says.

32. bornagain77: will take it to mean you could care less what the empirical evidence actually says.

You made a claim about the "introduction of novel 'kinds' at different times". What 'kinds'? When?

33. Paul

In short, all the physical evidence is redundant - even the compelling physical evidence for a conspiracy. Matey was not a 'lone gunman', there was no magic bullet, it was a very extensive conspiracy on the part of the authorities.

JFK conspiracy??

Matey??

I'm telling you CH, your blog sure brings out the best and the brightest Creationism has to offer. ;)

7. Behe: "I then wrote that 'for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years' (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless "using their model" gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model."

Pedant: "So much for Behe's "empirical statistic." It was a guess based on questionable assumptions."

-----

You completely missed Behe’s larger point after that, which is that according to the Durrett and Schmidt model, humans would need to wait around for 216 million years for just two beneficial point mutations… and just exactly how many beneficial point mutations would be required to turn an ape into a human? Tens of thousands? And what is the current time frame spouted off by evolutionists when they claim that that is exactly what happened? Much much less than 216 million years. Even according to the model, ape to human evolution does not appear anywhere near possible.

1. Behe and Durret and Scmidt can duke it out.

You completely missed the point that the entire exercise is ridiculous. Humans are apes,
by a variety of criteria:

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape)

Get over it.

2. "Humans are apes, by a variety of criteria: Get over it."

No Humans are Dolphins, Get over it:

Humans Evolved from Dogs (Dogs shown to be smarter than chimps) - February 2012
Excerpt: Birds are actually smarter than dogs, and dolphins than birds. So we have to update our earlier report that humans evolved from pigeons. The new evolutionary tree is: chimps begat dogs, who begat birds, who begat dolphins, who begat people. Hydrogen begat everything; or was it nothing that begat everything?
http://crev.info/2012/02/humans-evolved-from-dogs/

Or perhaps humans are really kangaroos!:

Kangaroo genes close to humans
Excerpt: Australia's kangaroos are genetically similar to humans,,, "There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order," ,,,"We thought they'd be completely scrambled, but they're not. There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome,"
http://www.reuters.com/article/science%20News/idUSTRE4AH1P020081118

Related note:

Dawkins Claimed Best Evidence For Evolution Refuted - video

3. bornagain77: Humans Evolved from Dogs

That's pretty ignorant, even for a creationist website. Have you even read "Origin of Species"?

4. "Have you even read "Origin of Species"?"

No if I want to read a book on Theology, I read the book that actually reflects TRUE Theology instead on man-made theology:

Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin's Use of Theology in the Origin of Species - May 2011
Excerpt: the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):

1. Human begins are not justfied in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.

2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.

3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the 'simplest mode' to accomplish the functions of these structures.

4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part's function.

5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.

6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.

7. God directly created the first 'primordial' life.

8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.

9. A 'distant' God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.

10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/charles_darwin_theologian_majo046391.html

5. Zach, It turns out that your Theologian Charles Darwin turned into a bit of a prophet in his second book:

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state as we may hope, than the Caucasian and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”
― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

From Darwin to Hitler - Professor Richard Weikart lecture - 1 hour video

Of course, it was a unsuccessful prophecy since Hitler was stopped before he could fulfill his Darwinian ambition. Moreover, the 'prophet' Charles Darwin was not nearly as precise (as measured by centuries) in his prophecy as some of the prophecies in the Bible are:

Probability Of Just Eight Prophecies Being Fulfilled - Jesus - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041170

The Case for Jesus the Messiah — Incredible Prophecies that Prove God Exists By Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon, and Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr.
Excerpt: What do you think his chances of being successful would be? It would be one in 10^157.
Remember, this number represents the chance of only 48 prophecies coming true in one person (there are 456 total prophecies concerning Jesus).
http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/ATRJ/proof/ATRJ1103PDF/ATRJ1103-3.pdf

The Precisely Fulfilled Prophecy Of Israel Becoming A Nation In 1948 - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041241

Bible Prophecy Fulfilled - Israel 1948 - article
Excerpt: Although July 15, 537 B.C. can not be verified by outside sources as the exact day of Cyrus's proclamation, we do know that 537 B.C. was the year in which he made it. As such, we can know for certain that the Bible, in one of the most remarkable prophecies in history, accurately foresaw the year of Israel's restoration as an independent nation some two thousand five hundred years before the event occurred.
http://ezinearticles.com/?Bible-Prophecy-Fulfilled---Israel-1948&id=449317

6. Zachriel: Have you even read "Origin of Species"?

bornagain77: No if I want to read a book on Theology, I read the book that actually reflects TRUE Theology instead on man-made theology

Well, that does explain a lot.

7. and that you hold a 19th century theological book as Gospel says a lot too!

8. bornagain77: and that you hold a 19th century theological book as Gospel says a lot too!

At least three things of note concerning your comment:

1) You criticize a theory you are ignorant about.
2) You revel in your ignorance.
3) We do not see Origin of Species as a gospel of any sort, but as an historically important scientific work that is quite dated today.

8. Or is it tens of thousands of genes (ten of millions, or billions of mutations), many of which are totally unique to the human lineage? I can't remember. I'm sure BA77 has a link or an excerpt.

1. M. Holcumbrink, here are a few of my references:

Peer-Reviewed Paper in Medical Journal Challenges Evolutionary Science and Inaccurate Evolution-Education - Casey Luskin - January, 2012
Excerpt: DNA homology between ape and man has been reported to be 96% when considering only the current protein-mapping sequences, which represent only 2% of the total genome. However, the actual similarity of the DNA is approximately 70% to 75% when considering the full genome, including the previously presumed "junk DNA," which has now been demonstrated to code for supporting elements in transcription or expression. The 25% difference represents almost 35 million single nucleotide changes and 5 million insertions or deletions.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/01/peer-reviewed_p055221.html

Chimp chromosome creates puzzles - 2004
Excerpt: However, the researchers were in for a surprise. Because chimps and humans appear broadly similar, some have assumed that most of the differences would occur in the large regions of DNA that do not appear to have any obvious function. But that was not the case. The researchers report in 'Nature' that many of the differences were within genes, the regions of DNA that code for proteins. 83% of the 231 genes compared had differences that affected the amino acid sequence of the protein they encoded. And 20% showed "significant structural changes". In addition, there were nearly 68,000 regions that were either extra or missing between the two sequences, accounting for around 5% of the chromosome.,,, "we have seen a much higher percentage of change than people speculated." The researchers also carried out some experiments to look at when and how strongly the genes are switched on. 20% of the genes showed significant differences in their pattern of activity.
http://www.nature.com/news/1998/040524/full/news040524-8.html

Eighty percent of proteins are different between humans and chimpanzees; Gene; Volume 346, 14 February 2005:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15716009

Study Reports a Whopping "23% of Our Genome" Contradicts Standard Human-Ape Evolutionary Phylogeny - Casey Luskin - June 2011
Excerpt: For about 23% of our genome, we share no immediate genetic ancestry with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. This encompasses genes and exons to the same extent as intergenic regions. We conclude that about 1/3 of our genes started to evolve as human-specific lineages before the differentiation of human, chimps, and gorillas took place. (of note; 1/3 of our genes is equal to about 7000 genes that we do not share with chimpanzees)
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/study_reports_a_whopping_23_of047041.html

From Jerry Coyne, More Table-Pounding, Hand-Waving - May 2012
Excerpt: "More than 6 percent of genes found in humans simply aren't found in any form in chimpanzees. There are over fourteen hundred novel genes expressed in humans but not in chimps."
Jerry Coyne - ardent and 'angry' neo-Darwinist - professor at the University of Chicago in the department of ecology and evolution for twenty years. He specializes in evolutionary genetics.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/05/from_jerry_coyn060271.html

2. The Gorilla Who Broke the Tree - Doug Axe PhD. - March 2012
Excerpt: Well, the recent publication of the gorilla genome sequence shows that the expected pattern just isn’t there. Instead of a nested hierarchy of similarities, we see something more like a mosaic. According to a recent report [1], “In 30% of the genome, gorilla is closer to human or chimpanzee than the latter are to each other…”
That’s sufficiently difficult to square with Darwin’s tree that it ought to bring the whole theory into question. And in an ideal world where Darwinism is examined the way scientific theories ought to be examined, I think it would. But in the real world things aren’t always so simple.
http://www.biologicinstitute.org/post/19703401390/the-gorilla-who-broke-the-tree

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

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

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

This following study, in which the functional role of ORFan genes was analyzed, the (Darwinian) researchers were 'very shocked' and 'taken aback' by what they found;

New Genes, New Brain - October 2011
Excerpt: said Long, who added that he was also taken aback by synchronicity of the origin of the genes and the development of novel brain structures.,,, (From the PLoS article, author’s summary: We found these genes are scattered across the whole genome, demonstrating that they are generated by many independent events,,,
http://the-scientist.com/2011/10/19/new-genes-new-brain/

etc.. etc..

3. bornagain77: The Gorilla Who Broke the Tree - Doug Axe PhD. - March 2012

That is due to incomplete lineage sorting. Particular alleles may disappear in one line, but not the other, simply by chance.

Consider a trait called Red. Assuming the standard phylogeny, when gorillas diverged, both lineages carry Red. After chimpanzees split, that line may lose Red, but still be carried in the line leading to humans. Gorillas and humans will share Red, but Red will be absent in chimpanzees, even though humans are more closely related to chimpanzees.

This was all worked out decades ago, and Axe is supposedly a whiz at computer simulations of population dynamics, so it's hard to understand his failure to understand this basic process.

4. Why isn't that special, unless Darwinists are able to 'sort' things to their liking then it is not relevant.

You got a whole lot bigger problems as far as empirical evidence than just trying to millions of base pairs to line up by the way. Like for instance, showing that just one unambiguous beneficial mutation in a metazoan can be fixated:

Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) - October 2010
Excerpt: "Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, "This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve," said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.
http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2010/10/07/experimental_evolution_in_fruit_flies

Or proving that combined beneficial mutations will not lead to negative epistasis:

Epistasis between Beneficial Mutations - July 2011
Excerpt: We found that epistatic interactions between beneficial mutations were all antagonistic—the effects of the double mutations were less than the sums of the effects of their component single mutations. We found a number of cases of decompensatory interactions, an extreme form of antagonistic epistasis in which the second mutation is actually deleterious in the presence of the first. In the vast majority of cases, recombination uniting two beneficial mutations into the same genome would not be favored by selection, as the recombinant could not outcompete its constituent single mutations.
http://www.uncommondescent.com/epigenetics/darwins-beneficial-mutations-do-not-benefit-each-other/

Mutations : when benefits level off - June 2011 - (Lenski's e-coli after 50,000 generations)
Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.
http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1867.htm?theme1=7

New Research on Epistatic Interactions Shows "Overwhelmingly Negative" Fitness Costs and Limits to Evolution - Casey Luskin June 8, 2011
Excerpt: In essence, these studies found that there is a fitness cost to becoming more fit. As mutations increase, bacteria faced barriers to the amount they could continue to evolve. If this kind of evidence doesn't run counter to claims that neo-Darwinian evolution can evolve fundamentally new types of organisms and produce the astonishing diversity we observe in life, what does?
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/new_research_on_epistatic_inte047151.html

6. bornagain77: Why isn't that special, unless Darwinists are able to 'sort' things to their liking then it is not relevant.

It's an inevitable consequence of genetics. In finite populations, alleles are lost over time. Hardy-Weinberg 1908.

7. BA77:

I have a suggestion you might consider: when you give "excerpts", separate out the reference information. So, e.g., from the above post, you could have written it this way:

[Mutations : when benefits level off - June 2011 - (Lenski's e-coli after 50,000 generations)]

Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.

[http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1867.htm?theme1=7]

We may, or may not be interested in the citation. The quotation will dtermine that; so that should be what we focus in on. And blocking it out the way I suggest helps us focus in on the quote.

9. Let's spell it out a bit more explicitly, since both Avise and some of his friends seem to be missing it. Avise is assuming that each mutation is independently beneficial. This is certainly the case if his bacteria are dosed first with penicillin and then later with streptomycin. However, if BOTH penicillin and streptomycin are used simultaneously on the original set of bacteria, those resistant to one but not the other don't have a chance to survive, replicate, and mutate. This is a well-known medical principle which is currently being used to beat back tuberculosis and other diseases--and is why it is so dangerous that patients often don't complete their courses of drugs, allowing the few resistant cells to repopulate.

In other words, Avise is totally ignoring Behe's argument of irreducible complexity, and assuming that incremental steps, each of which is independently beneficial (because if not independently beneficial, they would be unlikely to be carried forward), explain everything.

The second point is that higher order organisms don't reproduce at the rate that bacteria do.

It's amazing that someone who is by all accounts an accomplished scientist is displaying such an ignorant straw man argument. It's another example of how the creation/evolution debate makes people dumb, because they're so emotionally involved they can no longer think rationally.

10. Quotemine. Avise is describing evolution working within existing biological systems, while Cornelius is misusing the quote to argue from incredulity on the issue of OOL. If Dr Hunter doesn't like the simple and mathematically clear evolutionary explanation for the formation of antibiotic resistance, he should tell us how Jesus causes all that suffering and death.

1. Argument from evil instead of empirical evidence??? And your personal bias, as a non-Christian, is relevant exactly how as to establishing your claim that blind undirected processes can generate the unfathomed levels of informational complexity we find in life?

Systems biology: Untangling the protein web - July 2009
Excerpt: Vidal thinks that technological improvements — especially in nanotechnology, to generate more data, and microscopy, to explore interaction inside cells, along with increased computer power — are required to push systems biology forward. "Combine all this and you can start to think that maybe some of the information flow can be captured," he says. But when it comes to figuring out the best way to explore information flow in cells, Tyers jokes that it is like comparing different degrees of infinity. "The interesting point coming out of all these studies is how complex these systems are — the different feedback loops and how they cross-regulate each other and adapt to perturbations are only just becoming apparent," he says. "The simple pathway models are a gross oversimplification of what is actually happening."
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v460/n7253/full/460415a.html

2. David:

What Avise writes is simply absurd. He takes an example that is right out of Behe's The Edge of Evolution, an example of exactly what Behe, a chief proponent of ID, concedes is EXACTLY WHAT EVOLUTION CAN DO.

What absurdity! "Look, see what bacteria can do!", when the whole time this is simply conceded. This is preposterous.

Sir Fred Hoyle dismissed evolutionary theory out of hand by doing a simple calculation of the cytochrome C protein probability. Without cytochrome C, cells can't divide. Without cell division, reproduction cannot take place. Without reproduction, natural selection (and sustained LIFE) is impossible. Why doesn't Avise take that one on for size????

Hoyle was neither a believing Christian (a fallen-away one, actually) or a creationist. He was a panspermist. So, religious bias will not do as an explanation---silly and specious though it is.

Why doesn't Avise take that one on??? Well, we all know exactly why. Who are you Darwinists trying to kid? The Emperor has no clothes!!

3. Pav Lino

Sir Fred Hoyle dismissed evolutionary theory out of hand by doing a simple calculation of the cytochrome C protein probability. Without cytochrome C, cells can't divide. Without cell division, reproduction cannot take place. Without reproduction, natural selection (and sustained LIFE) is impossible. Why doesn't Avise take that one on for size????

Sorry Pav, but Hoyle's calculations were determined to be faulty decades ago. Hoyle's numbers are meaningless because they are based both on his severe misunderstanding of how actual evolutionary processes work (proteins don't spontaneously assemble all at once) and his misunderstanding of how cells actually use cytochrome C.

4. Sir Fred Hoyle also dismissed the Big Bang. Even though this was right up his alley (astrophysics), he was dead wrong. Why anyone would think Hoyle's opinion on things outside his field of expertise matters is beyond me.

5. @BA^77 - "As a non-Christian" LOL!! All Science So Far... You'd say the same to Simon Conway Morris? Francis Collins? Or any other church-going evolutionary scientist?

@Lino - So Behe and Avise agree about what evolution can do? So what? If it is conceded (by Behe) why is making Dr Hunter so frothy-mouthed? It is hardly 'absurd' to restate an agreed upon fact.

I'll throw you a bone. What Dr Hunter should be arguing is that it is not proven that a large number of small semi-functional molecules can be assembled into a 'metabolism' that can sustain and improve itself. We have a 'lower bound' shown by Miller-Urey style experiments that lots of organic and pre-biotic molecules will self assemble. We have an 'upper bound' shown by bacteria and viral evolution, as referred to by Avise. In between, pre-biotic has to become pro-biotic, and chemical systems captured inside membranes have to become metabolisms inside cells.

That is the gap into which Dr Hunter has to wedge his God, if he is taking the subject of this post seriously. And in passing he can explain why Jesus keeps designing bacteria to kill us.

6. BA^77 - "As a non-Christian" LOL!! All Science So Far... You'd say the same to Simon Conway Morris? Francis Collins? Or any other church-going evolutionary scientist?

And yet you argue from evil with;

"he should tell us how Jesus causes all that suffering and death."

Yet you fail to realize that since you admit to the objective reality of evil in the world, so as to make your argument from evil in the first place, then you automatically concede the objective reality of good, since evil is merely a departure from the way things 'ought' to be.

Albert Einstein and his answer to his Professor !

Jesus certainly was not oblivious to suffering and death. Indeed he healed many of those suffering around him and he defeated death on the cross!

Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words 'The Lamb' - short video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041205

Moreover David, you have not presented any evidence that purely material, neo-Darwinian, processes can generate functional information over and above what is already present. You just dogmatically stated your beliefs as if they were fact. Go figure! If you really are so confident that all you have to do is dot a few i's and cross a few t's in order drive 'God from a gap' you are sorely mistaken and I have a null hypothesis for you to falsify that may give you a clue as to how far you are away from accomplishing such a self deluded goal:

Is Life Unique? David L. Abel - January 2012
Concluding Statement: The scientific method itself cannot be reduced to mass and energy. Neither can language, translation, coding and decoding, mathematics, logic theory, programming, symbol systems, the integration of circuits, computation, categorizations, results tabulation, the drawing and discussion of conclusions. The prevailing Kuhnian paradigm rut of philosophic physicalism is obstructing scientific progress, biology in particular. There is more to life than chemistry. All known life is cybernetic. Control is choice-contingent and formal, not physicodynamic.
http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/2/1/106/

"Nonphysical formalism not only describes, but preceded physicality and the Big Bang
Formalism prescribed, organized and continues to govern physicodynamics."
http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/2/1/106/ag

The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency - Dr David L. Abel - November 2010
Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”,,, After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided. The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction: “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
http://www-qa.scitopics.com/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Insufficiency.html

The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness - David L. Abel - August 2011
Summary: “The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness” states that inanimate physicodynamics is completely inadequate to generate, or even explain, the mathematical nature of physical interactions (the purely formal laws of physics and chemistry). The Law further states that physicodynamic factors cannot cause formal processes and procedures leading to sophisticated function. Chance and necessity alone cannot steer, program or optimize algorithmic/computational success to provide desired non-trivial utility.
http://www.scitopics.com/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness.html

7. Dude, address your "argument from evil" questions to Dr Hunter. He's the one with a theodicy problem. I'm of the opinion that antibiotic resistant bacteria are no more evil than a praying mantis eating its mate or a lion eating a zebra. I haven't 'admitted' an absolute, objective evil (or good) exists, or that it applies to non-human parts of the world.
You don't have a null hypothesis. You have word salad C&P from a retired veterinarian. Explain to me in your own words what a genetic algorithm is. Can you do that?

8. David you deny that you believe in the objective reality of good and evil?

Hmmm interesting, Do you want to come over to my basement for a little scientific test on the integrity of that belief of yours???

Cruel Logic – short film
https://vimeo.com/5355398

"You don't have a null hypothesis."

Really?? Please show me exactly where purely material processes have ever generated functional information without a mind being involved!

"Explain to me in your own words what a genetic algorithm is."

A Genetic Algorithm, as used by neo-Darwinists, is a smoke and mirrors computer program 'intelligently designed' by neo-Darwinists to try to fool people into thinking that functional information can be had by purely material processes, all the while the neo-Darwinists are, amazingly, completely oblivious to the fact that the Genetic Algorithm itself is actually a crystal clear example that 'Intelligent Design' is required to explain the functional information we find in life:

"Darwin or Design" with Dr. Tom Woodward with guest Dr. Robert J. Marks II - video

Further notes:

Refutation Of Evolutionary Algorithms

9. BA,

"Do you want to come over my basement for a little science experiment on the integrity of that belief of yours???"

That should shut David up

10. Thorton and David vun Kannon:

Why resort to ad hominem attacks? That's all your citations amount to.

My argument above is straightforward. Attack the argument, or concede.

As to Miller-Urey, those results are somewhat controversial given uncertainties about what original conditions were like. But to say that humans, if they train, can go from jumping two feet in the air to jumping two feet, five inches in the air, does not give anyone warrant to then presume that humans will one day be able to "leap over tall buildings in a single bound." (a la Superman)

What you simply describe represents, in fact, an incredible degree of complexity, one that is beyond even imagining. But, nevertheless, I know you'll try and "imagine" it---because, after all, that's what Darwin taught.

11. BA^77 - You are having trouble catching the distinction between bacteria, praying mantises, lions, and people. I said I don't think the concept of evil can be applied to a bacteria. Do you? Can it be applied to a God that designs pain causing bacteria?

12. @Lino - Sorry, it isn't ad hominem to point out that Sir Freddie was wrong.

You have hit the essential point - evolution teaches that life is a continuous series of steps, from some froth of metabolizing bubbles to every living thing alive today, and you'd like to claim that there is a categorical leap in the middle that can't be walked across. I completely agree that this is the issue. You keep working to show where this canyon is, and why material systems can't cross without help from above, and I'll keep working to show the opposite. May the best evidence win.

13. David you state: "You are having trouble catching the distinction between bacteria, praying mantises, lions, and people. I said I don't think the concept of evil can be applied to a bacteria. Do you?"

No it is not I, it is you that is having trouble reconciling 'natural evil' in the world with God who is all good. This is actually a very old discipline of study within Theology called Theodicy. Yet what is funny in all this is that neo-Darwinists, instead of presenting any substantiating scientific evidence neo-Darwinism, will very often use 'natural evil' in the world, which is at its base a Theological argument, in defence of neo-Darwinism.,, Here Dr. Craig takes Dr. Ayala to school for using Theodicy as a main argument for evolution instead of using actual scientific evidence to support his position:

Refuting The Myth Of 'Bad Design' vs. Intelligent Design - William Lane Craig vs. Dr. Ayala - video

Here are a few more resources for you if you want to learn more.

Here are peer-reviewed papers which point out the fact that many arguments for Darwinian evolution turn out to be primarily theological arguments at their core:

The role of theology in current evolutionary reasoning

Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin's Use of Theology in the Origin of Species - May 2011
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/charles_darwin_theologian_majo046391.html

Here, at about the 55:00 minute mark in the following video, Phillip Johnson sums up his 'excellent' lecture by noting that the refutation of his book, 'Darwin On Trial', in the Journal Nature, the most prestigious science journal in the world, was a theological argument about what God would and would not do and therefore Darwinism must be true, and the critique was not a refutation based on any substantiating scientific evidence for Darwinism that one would be expected to be brought forth in such a prestigious journal:

Darwinism On Trial (Phillip E. Johnson) – lecture video

Is Your Bod Flawed by God? - Feb. 2010
Excerpt: Theodicy (the discipline in Theism of reconciling natural evil with a good God) might be a problem for 19th-century deism and simplistic natural theology, but not for Biblical theology. It was not a problem for Jesus Christ, who was certainly not oblivious to the blind, the deaf, the lepers and the lame around him. It was not a problem for Paul, who spoke of the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain till the coming redemption of all things (Romans 8).
http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201002.htm#20100214a

Finding a Good God in an Evil World - William Dembski
http://www.designinference.com/documents/2009.05.end_of_xty.pdf

Little do most atheists realize that the existence of evil itself necessitates the existence of Good. i.e. you cannot disprove God by pointing to evil, because for evil even to exist in reality good must exist in the first place. i.e. Evil is merely a departure from the way things 'ought' to be and thus evil cannot exist independently without the objective, independent, existence of good! All a atheist does when he points to evil in this world is to point out the fact that this world is not perfectly good, Yet Christianity never claimed we were in heaven in the first place. i.e. by pointing to evil (the absence of good), the atheist actually affirms the Christian belief that we are in a fallen world.

If God, Why Evil? (Norman Geisler) - video

LEE STROBEL: - The Case for Faith - Full Documentary
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FJ0J2FNU

“If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.” –
CS Lewis God in the Dock, page 52

14. Pav Lino

Thorton and David vun Kannon:

Why resort to ad hominem attacks? That's all your citations amount to.

No they weren't Pav. They were links to calculations backed with references to scientific papers which show beyond all doubt that Hoyle was wrong.

You're the only one restoring to ad hom attacks to try and save face. Feel free to explain why the critiques of Hoyle's blunders we provided are somehow in error.

15. As to the claim that Sir Fred Hoyle was wrong:

Stephen Meyer - Proteins by Design - Doing The Math - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6332250/

Signature in the Cell - Book Review - Ken Peterson
Excerpt: If we assume some minimally complex cell requires 250 different proteins then the probability of this arrangement happening purely by chance is one in 10 to the 164th multiplied by itself 250 times or one in 10 to the 41,000th power.
http://www.spectrummagazine.org/reviews/book_reviews/2009/10/06/signature_cell

In fact years ago Fred Hoyle arrived at approximately the same number, one chance in 10^40,000, for life spontaneously arising.

Yet, this is chicken feed compared to the following:

Professor Harold Morowitz shows the Origin of Life 'problem' escalates dramatically over the 1 in 10^40,000 figure when working from a thermodynamic perspective,:

"The probability for the chance of formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 in 10^340,000,000. This number is 10 to the 340 millionth power! The size of this figure is truly staggering since there is only supposed to be approximately 10^80 (10 to the 80th power) electrons in the whole universe!"
(Professor Harold Morowitz, Energy Flow In Biology pg. 99, Biophysicist of George Mason University)

Dr. Don Johnson lays out some of the probabilities for life in this following video:

Probabilities Of Life - Don Johnson PhD. - 38 minute mark of video
a typical functional protein - 1 part in 10^175
the required enzymes for life - 1 part in 10^40,000
a living self replicating cell - 1 part in 10^340,000,000
http://www.vimeo.com/11706014

Programming of Life - Probability of a Cell Evolving - video

16. Pav Lino

What you simply describe represents, in fact, an incredible degree of complexity, one that is beyond even imagining.

Scientifically verified reality isn't constrained by your inability to comprehend it.

17. Dr. Morowitz did another probability calculation working from the thermodynamic perspective with a already existing cell and came up with this number:

DID LIFE START BY CHANCE?
Excerpt: Molecular biophysicist, Horold Morowitz (Yale University), calculated the odds of life beginning under natural conditions (spontaneous generation). He calculated, if one were to take the simplest living cell and break every chemical bond within it, the odds that the cell would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment) would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000. You will have probably have trouble imagining a number so large, so Hugh Ross provides us with the following example. If all the matter in the Universe was converted into building blocks of life, and if assembly of these building blocks were attempted once a microsecond for the entire age of the universe. Then instead of the odds being 1 in 10^100,000,000,000, they would be 1 in 10^99,999,999,916 (also of note: 1 with 100 billion zeros following would fill approx. 20,000 encyclopedias)
http://members.tripod.com/~Black_J/chance.html

Punctured cell will never reassemble - Jonathan Wells - 2:40 mark of video

Also of interest is the information content that is derived in a cell when working from a thermodynamic perspective:

“a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” – R. C. Wysong

'The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica."
Carl Sagan, "Life" in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

of note: The 10^12 bits of information number for a bacterium is derived from entropic considerations, which is, due to the tightly integrated relationship between information and entropy, considered the most accurate measure of the transcendent quantum information/entanglement constraining a 'simple' life form to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium.

"Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? ....The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental..." Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90, [Quotes Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin]

For calculations, from the thermodynamic perspective, please see the following site:

Moleular Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: - Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz' deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~angel/tsb/molecular.htm

18. Phillip Cunningham,
I think you really did try there to explain GAs in your own words. It was a Gollum/Smeagol moment, and I respect your effort by replying to you, not to BA^77.

You know, I suppose, that Dr Dr Wm A Dembski is also the author of a GA? If I use that GA to optimize a function, who did the work? Me or Dr Dr Dembski? What if I used a GA to invent something that no human has ever seen or known before, including the author of the GA? Do you think that is possible?

19. David, you claimed I had no null hypothesis against purely material processes ever generating functional information. You offered a GA as proof. Yet, without getting into the details of fitness functions, oracles, incompleteness theorem etc,,, it is crystal clear that GA's are intelligently designed and you have not presented an example of purely material processes generating functional information. Thus your claim that I have no null hypothesis is still unsubstantiated regardless of what you may think since you have provided ZERO empirical evidence that purely material processes can generate functional information. Do you wish to present the requested evidence now? or do you wish to apologize for being wrong in your claim? I will gladly, and graciously, accept either from you.

20. "Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day."
Norbert Weiner - MIT Mathematician - Father of Cybernetics

21. David and Thorton:

When you read the supposed critique of Hoyle's analysis, and there is, time and time again, words like "outside of his field of expertise," this doesn't constitute rebuttal, but an ad hominem approach.

That someone mounts a critique against someone's thesis, doesn't mean that they succeed. And it doesn't become my responsibility to rebut it point by point. As I've pointed out twice already, Hoyle's argument is quite straightforward; it can be easily dismantled logically---were that the case. Instead, we get extended diatribes that amount to: "Well, I don't think he knows what he's talking about." This doesn't impress me, or anyone else.

All you have to do, Thorton and David, is simply rebut the argument that Hoyle employs. You haven't done that, and this speaks volumes.

David, as to the "essential point" you speak of, I am in almost complete agreement with you that this is, indeed, the fundamental issue. And, let me go further: I don't think we have now, nor will we have in the future, enough evidence to "prove" which is the case---materialistic evolution or creative acts---one way or the other. We would just need so much more information than we now have, and I don't see how we could get it---I have in mind here the need for the genomes of early ancestral species.

Nonetheless, we need some "explanation." The best "explanation" for what we know exists, what we know has existed, and for what we see happening in living beings is something akin to Intelligent Design. Evolution, as defined as progressive changes in living forms over time, is a fact. But how did this change become effected? That is the \$64,000 question.

Darwinism, I'm afraid, is a total failure. Evo-devo, OTOH, presumes what it needs to demonstrate, so really can't be taken seriously. By default, then, and as Stephen Meyers eloquently argues in The Signature in the Cell, ID has the "most explanatory power."

Soon, rather than later, Darwinism will be jetissoned simply because of acquired and accumulated scientific evidence. I'm quite the intuitive type. I've seen enough. I don't have to wait.

22. Phillip,
The intelligent design of GA - the choice of specific algorithm and parameters - is analogous to the cosmic fine tuning of the universe. It exists before and outside of the running of the simulation. The analogy to an Intelligent Designer would be an experimenter that stopped the simulation, opened the running program in a debugger, and changed a 1 for a 0 in ways the code could never do itself.
No scientist trying to discover the power of GAs would subvert the experiment in this way.
BTW, it does happen that GA systems (GP systems really) invent things that no human has ever known or thought of. They give out cash prizes for this every year at the GECCO conference (in Phildelphia, this year, if you want to go). So if Dembski and Marks want to freak out over smuggling information into an algorithm, they can go there and explain how the run of a computer system didn't really invent a new computer circuit, or mathematical theorem. Should make for amusing conversation.

@Lino - Sorry, Sir Freddie is wrong whether or not he is speaking inside or outside his field of expertise. This isn't argument from non-authority. His argument is just bogus. All "BigNum" sequential trial arguments are. (A point Dr Hunter needs to learn.)
I would disagree with you on the point of whether we will ever have enough information to choose between material evolution "from stardust" and the need for an intervention. We already know that there are cellular automata which reliably create evolving objects. This is a demonstration that no intervention is necessary after the point of cosmic fine tuning and the Big Bang. You can still argue whether it was necessary in our universe, with our set of physical laws, but it is no longer possible to argue that it is categorically impossible.
If you think ID has the most "explanatory power", please show the ID explanation for the genetic code (the Signature in the Cell) and compare it to the direct templating hypothesis of Michael Yarus.

23. David, regardless of what you think, GA's are Intelligently Designed by computer programmers and are not an example of purely material processes generating information. Thus, you still have not backed up your claim that purely material processes can generate functional information. I will graciously accept either your apology or an example. An appropriate example would be a code, such as the genetic code, generated by purely material processes:

The DNA Code - Solid Scientific Proof Of Intelligent Design - Perry Marshall - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4060532

"A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107."
(The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

Codes and Axioms are always the result of mental intention, not material processes

yet despite the fact that no one has ever seen purely material processes getting anywhere near producing a code of any sort, we find the genetic code in life is optimal from many different levels of measuring optimization:

Biophysicist Hubert Yockey determined that natural selection would have to explore 1.40 x 10^70 different genetic codes to discover the optimal universal genetic code that is found in nature. The maximum amount of time available for it to originate is 6.3 x 10^15 seconds. Natural selection would have to evaluate roughly 10^55 codes per second to find the one that is optimal. Put simply, natural selection lacks the time necessary to find the optimal universal genetic code we find in nature. (Fazale Rana, -The Cell's Design - 2008 - page 177)

A Critique of Douglas Theobald’s - “29 Evidences for Macroevolution” by Ashby Camp
Excerpt: There is yet another reason that the universality of the genetic code is not strong evidence for evolution. Simply put, the theory of evolution does not predict the genetic code to be universal (it does not, for that matter, predict the genetic code at all). In fact, leading evolutionists such as Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel are surprised that there aren’t multiple codes in nature.
- Biophysicist Cornelius G. Hunter

Moreover it is found that the first DNA code of life on earth had to be at least as complex as the current DNA code found in life:

Shannon Information - Channel Capacity - Perry Marshall - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5457552/

“Because of Shannon channel capacity that previous (first) codon alphabet had to be at least as complex as the current codon alphabet (DNA code), otherwise transferring the information from the simpler alphabet into the current alphabet would have been mathematically impossible”
Donald E. Johnson – Bioinformatics: The Information in Life

24. As Yarus's work and your claim that it refutes intelligent design:

Origin of Life: Claiming Something for Almost Nothing (RNA)
Excerpt: Yarus admitted, “the tiny replicator has not been found, and that its existence will be decided by experiments not yet done, perhaps not yet imagined.” But does this (laboratory) work support a naturalistic origin of life? A key question is whether a (self-replicating) molecule could form under plausible prebiotic conditions. Here’s how the paper described their work in the lab to get this (precursor) molecule:,,

RNA was synthesized by Dharmacon. GUGGC = 5’-GUGGC-30 ; GCCU – 5’P-GCCU-3’ ; 5’OH-GCCU = 5’-GCCU-3’ ; GCCU20dU = 5’-GCC-2’-dU; GCC = 5’-GCC-3’ ; dGdCdCrU = 5’-dGdCdCU-3’ . RNA GCC3’dU was prepared by first synthesizing 5’-O-(4,4’- Dimethoxytrityl)3’-deoxyuridine as follows: 3’-deoxyuridine (MP Biomedicals; 991 mg, 0.434 mmol) was dissolved in 5 mL anhydrous pyridine and pyridine was then removed under vacuum while stirring. Solid was then redissolved in 2 mL pyridine. Dimethoxytrityl chloride (170 mg, 0.499 mmol) was dissolved in 12 mL pyridine and slowly added to 3’-deoxyuridine solution. Solution was stirred at room temperature for 4 h. All solutions were sequestered from exposure to air throughout.
Reaction was then quenched by addition of 5 mL methanol, and solvent was removed by rotary evaporation. Remaining solvent evaporated overnight in a vacuum chamber. Product was then dissolved in 1 mL acetonitrile and purified through a silica column (acetonitrile elution). Final product fractions (confirmed through TLC, 1.1 hexane:acetonitrile) were pooled and rotary evaporated. Yield was 71%. Dimethoxytrityl-protected 30dU was then sent to Dharmacon for immobilization of 30-dU on glass and synthesis of 5’-GCC-3’-dU.
PheAMP, PheUMP, and MetAMP were synthesized by the method of Berg (25) with modifications and purification as described in ref. 6. Yield was as follows: PheAMP 85%, PheUMP 67%, and MetAMP 36%.

Even more purification and isolation steps under controlled conditions, using multiple solvents at various temperatures, were needed to prevent cross-reactions. (and now the understatement of the century) It is doubtful such complex lab procedures have analogues in nature.
http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201003.htm#20100302a

And this reflects purely material processes how David?

25. As to the limits of GA's and purely material evolutionary searches in general:

Kurt GĂ¶del - Incompleteness Theorem - video
http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

Alan Turing & Kurt Godel - Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition - video (notes in video description)
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/

Here is what George Chaitin, a world-famous mathematician and computer scientist, said about the limits of his program trying to prove evolution was mathematically feasible:

At last, a Darwinist mathematician tells the truth about evolution - VJT - November 2011
Excerpt: In Chaitin’s own words, “You’re allowed to ask God or someone to give you the answer to some question where you can’t compute the answer, and the oracle will immediately give you the answer, and you go on ahead.”

26. David you claim,

"We already know that there are cellular automata which reliably create evolving objects. This is a demonstration that no intervention is necessary after the point of cosmic fine tuning and the Big Bang."

Actually Avida, which I believe is what you are talking about, is a joke:

Evolutionary Synthesis of Nand Logic: Dissecting a Digital Organism - Dembski - Marks - Dec. 2009
Excerpt: The effectiveness of a given algorithm can be measured by the active information introduced to the search. We illustrate this by identifying sources of active information in Avida, a software program designed to search for logic functions using nand gates. Avida uses stair step active information by rewarding logic functions using a smaller number of nands to construct functions requiring more. Removing stair steps deteriorates Avida’s performance while removing deleterious instructions improves it.
http://evoinfo.org/publications/evolutionary-synthesis-of-nand-logic-avida/

New paper using the Avida “evolution” software shows it doesn’t evolve. - May 2011
http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/new-paper-using-the-avida-evolution-software-shows/

The effects of low-impact mutations in digital organisms (Testing Avida using realistic biological parameters) - Chase W Nelson and John C Sanford
http://www.tbiomed.com/content/8/1/9

27. As well David you state:

"This is a demonstration that no intervention is necessary after the point of cosmic fine tuning and the Big Bang."

As to your claim that 'no intervention is necessary after (the big bang)', It might interest you to know, contrary to the implicit deistic stance you are taking, that the universe is not self sustaining but requires a 'non-local', beyond space and time, cause to explain the continued existence of material particles within 4-D space-time:

Quantum Mechanics has now been extended by Anton Zeilinger, and team, to falsify local realism (reductive materialism) without even using quantum entanglement to do it:

‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624111942.htm

Here it was done for electrons:

Electron entanglement near a superconductor and bell inequalities
Excerpt: The two electrons of these pairs have entangled spin and orbital degrees of freedom.,,, We formulate Bell-type inequalities in terms of current-current cross-correlations associated with contacts with varying magnetization orientations. We find maximal violation (as in photons) when a superconductor is the particle source. (i.e. electrons have a 'non-local', beyond space and time, cause sustaining them.)

Thus David, you must posit a non-local cause to explain why material particles continue to exist within 4-D space time in order to be able to sustain your claim that 'no intervention' is needed beyond the big bang. Myself I already have a non-local cause:

Revelation 4:11
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

further notes:

Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Big Bang & Universe

28. BA^77,
I'm sorry that you are not trying to engage your own thinking on the topics, but have simply gone back to using words as cues to the C&P engine.
I'm agreeing with you that GAs, as with other computer programs and machines, are intelligently designed. I was trying to engage you on the distinction between the design and the running of the application.
VJTorley's misquote of Chaitin is irrelevant. An 'oracle' in a GA is just another name for the fitness function, a proxy for the real world.
I've gone around a few times with you on whether non-locality, etc is meaningful to some of these issues. I hardly think non-locality is evidence for Jesus. YMMV

29. David you state:

"VJTorley's misquote of Chaitin is irrelevant."

Yet here is the video where, at the 30:00 minute mark, you can here the quote from Chaitin's own mouth in full context:

Life as Evolving Software, Greg Chaitin at PPGC UFRGS

At last, a Darwinist mathematician tells the truth about evolution - VJT - November 2011
Excerpt: In Chaitin’s own words, “You’re allowed to ask God or someone to give you the answer to some question where you can’t compute the answer, and the oracle will immediately give you the answer, and you go on ahead.”

Shoot even at the 40:00 minute mark of the video Chaitin readily admits that Intelligent Design is the best possible way to get evolution to take place, and Chaitin even tells of a physicist telling him that the idea Evolutionary computer model does not have enough time. If you don't believe me look at the video!

You claim the oracle/fitness function is 'proxy for the real world' yet if your conception of the 'real world' is 'non-intelligent material processes' then you are sorely mistaken in your conception of 'real world':

"It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality" -
Eugene Wigner - (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) - received Nobel Prize in 1963 for 'Quantum Symmetries'

David, you forgot to specifically name your non-local, beyond space and time, cause for why material particles continue to exist in 4-D space-time. (Other than Who you don't think it is!)

The Center Of The Universe Is Life - General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy, and The Shroud Of Turin - updated video
http://vimeo.com/34084462

11. CH: An obvious problem with evolution is its claim that complex designs arose spontaneously. Imagine some spark plugs, valves and other assorted mechanical parts coming together to form an engine. It’s unlikely no matter how many years you have.What evolutionists would need to show is that there is a long, long sequence of simpler, intermediate designs which gradually lead from a lifeless warm little pond to the incredible species in today’s world. Of course they have shown no such thing—not even close.

Really? Let's apply this "logic" elsewhere, shall we?

While we might have an overwhelming number of observations that gravity is a uniform law of nature in our local vicinity, this is merely a drop in the bucket compared to the astronomical number of observations that could indicate otherwise. Using your logic, what physicists would need to show is that gravity actually is uniform everywhere but everywhere in the past. Of course, they have shown no such thing. Not even close.

As such, do we conclude it's astronomically unlikely that gravity is a uniform law of nature? Of course, not. That gravity is a uniform law of nature is our current, best underlying explanation behind the entire fabric of the. It explains observations of galaxies, planets, the formulation of the first stars, etc., even though no one was there to actually observe them.

In the same sense, the error correcting process of conjecture and refutation represents our current, best underlying explanation for how all forms of knowledge are created. This includes biological evolution in the form of non-explanatory knowledge.

CH: The logic here is astonishing. In the hands of the evolutionist a failure of his theory is transformed into a victory with what can only be described as sheer absurdity.

Of course you think they're not even wrong. Again, I'm suggesting this is because you cannot recognize your conception of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism. That evolutionary processes could have created knowledge that God supposedly put there instead is absurd as knowledge must be ultimately justified from some supernatural authority. Anything else would be absurd. Right?

And let's not forget the whole "neutral act" …..

CH: Avise’s argument is simply jaw-dropping. It is a complete misrepresentation of what we know from science.

It is? Then why don't you start out by explaining how it's possible to extrapolate observations without first putting them into an explanatory framework? Please be specific.

For example, assuming biological features we observe were specifically pre-selected by a designer, which supposedly allows you to know all the possible outcomes when calculating the "likelihood" of evolutionary theory, isn't science neutral. It's part of the explanatory framework you use to extrapolate observations.

Merely framing your claims as if your conception of human knowledge is an idea that is not subject to criticism doesn't change this. All you end up with are parochial arguments.

12. Scott: "Merely framing your claims as if your conception of human knowledge is an idea that is not subject to criticism doesn't change this. All you end up with are parochial arguments."

Did this line of argument work well for you last time? Or did that failure inspire you to try again since you reject inductive reasoning? Do you basically say the same thing to everyone that makes an argument? Why do you like posting on this board?

1. John, It's really quite simple.

Cornelius makes claims about Evolutionary theory and "evolutionists". Given that I think evolutionary theory is the best explanation of the biological complexity we observe then, presumably, that includes me.

When I came across this site, I noticed he appeared to be confused about my views, about how we solve problems and about specific aspects of evolutionary theory.

However, I'm here not only to merely state that he appears to be confused. I'm here to point out exactly where that confusion apparently lies and how my view differs, in detail.

Part of that confusion has to do with how his conception of human knowledge differs from mine and how those differences would impact each of our conclusions regarding evolutionary theory. This represents a form of criticism, which is a key part of how we make progress in solving problems.

The thing is, If I'm confused about his conception of human knowledge, all he has to do is point out exactly where my confusion lies and how his views differ, in detail, just as I have. This too would be a form of criticism. However, this hasn't occurred. Instead, he just keep making the same arguments over and over again, never truly acknowledging the criticism I've provided.

Given that I've directly asked him questions specifically designed to clarify his views, the question is: how can we explain this behavior?

I'm suggesting that Cornelius doesn't recognize his conception of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism.

Again, If I'm confused about this, all he has to do is point out exactly where my confusion lies and how his views differ, in detail. However this hasn't occurred either.

As such, it's unclear what other conclusion he expects us to reach.

Furthermore, many of Cornelius' views are, by definition examples of pre-enlightenment, authoritative, justiifcationist conception of human knowledge.

For example, to whatever extent Cornelius thinks the Christian Bible is authoritative, it's because he thinks that extent represents the divinely reveled word of an authoritative supernatural being. We can say the same about morality, knowledge about the cosmos, etc. So, it's uncontroversial to state that Cornelius holds a pre-enlightenment, authoritative, justiifcationist conception of human knowledge.

The question is, does he recognize this as an idea that would be subject to criticism.

However, Cornelius still attempts to present himself as "neutral" in that that "science" or "the data" shows that evolutionary theory is unlikely and that evolutionists own "numbers" support this claim. When I respond with criticism regarding how this conclusion depends on his particular conception of human knowledge, he doesn't acknowledge it at all. Rather, he just keep repeating the same argument over again, as if he simply cannot recognize his conception of human knowledge would be subject to criticism.

Again, given the above, it's unclear what other conclusion Cornelius expects us to reach. Should he present some alternative, I'm all ears.

2. I'd also point out that you're exhibiting the same sort of behavior. When I present or reference criticism of inductivism, you simply ignore it as if you simply cannot recognize it as an idea that would be subject to criticism.

On the other hand, I do recognize that my conception of human knowledge is an idea that is subject to criticism. For example, feel free to enlighten us with or to reference a "principle of induction" that actually works in practice. Again, I'd be all ears.

However, I do not expect any such principle to be provided as I do not think you think any such principle is necessary. In other words, you think It's so obviously true that you cannot recognize it as an idea that would be subject to criticism.

Of course, if I've got it wrong, then simply point where you view differs and how, in detail.

I won't be holding my breath.

3. You should hold your breath because no one cares if you attack inductive reasoning with inductive reasoning. Use your breath for something more enlightened.

13. Good post. Evolution truly is a fairy tale for grownups.

14. What is "good" about it? It makes no point at all.

And clearly evolution is not "a fairy tale for grownups" - it's a scientific theory (if you are referring to the theory) that makes testable predictions that are daily tested.

On the other hand, the account of evolutionary theory regularly offered by Cornelius on this blog is indeed a "fairy tale", and, I guess, one for "grown-ups", who should know better.

So should the tale-teller.

It's not as though there isn't a vast scientific literature out there, much of which is open access.

15. CH: An obvious problem with evolution is its claim that complex designs arose spontaneously.

Um, no, it isn't.

Imagine some spark plugs, valves and other assorted mechanical parts coming together to form an engine. It’s unlikely no matter how many years you have.

Obviously. But that is not what the theory of evolution posits. You know this. Or should.

What evolutionists would need to show is that there is a long, long sequence of simpler, intermediate designs which gradually lead from a lifeless warm little pond to the incredible species in today’s world.

Not necessarily always simpler. Evolution can go from complex to simple as well as simple to complex. What is posited is a long, long sequence of incremental modifications which gradually lead, etc.

Of course they have shown no such thing—not even close.

Well, yes, they have. Not every step, of course, but plenty of proof-of-concept.

So instead evolutionists use sophistry—explanations that are so flawed and illogical they cannot even be said to be wrong. For example, professor and National Academy of Sciences member John Avise makes this argument:

[Avise quote here]
The logic here is astonishing.

No, what is astonishing here is your own ignorance.

In the hands of the evolutionist a failure of his theory is transformed into a victory with what can only be described as sheer absurdity.

There is no failure, and you have not pointed to any.

The underlying, unspoken, premise is that the stepwise fixation of single, high fitness, point mutations is no different than the evolution of all biological complexities.

Firstly "fixation" is an erroneous description of what is happening here, which in any case is in a population of bacteria, i.e. cloning organisms, in which genomes are inherited in whole, not in part (so the term "fixation" doesn't strictly apply). And so any individual with a novel sequence, if it survives to breed, gives rise to a lineage all of which bear that sequence. Clearly, if that sequence confers resistance to an antibiotic that is otherwise lethal, and environment includes that antibiotic, only that lineage will survive in that environment. But if conditions are less harsh, than that members of that lineage will merely become more prevalent.

"Fixation" in the sense of all members of the population bearing that sequence, is irrelevant. All that matters is that the lineage thrives. And once the numbers become very great, as they will if they are outcompeting their peers, the probability of the second mutation occurring also starts to approach 1.

In other words, you have totally missed Avise's point.

In fact there are precisely zero such designs that are known to be constructable via such a sequence.

Rubbish. Or do you really think that some Intelligent Designer intervenes to create multiply-resistant pathological bacteria?

Indeed, quite the opposite, science points us in the opposite direction. Even the evolution a single protein falls 27 orders of magnitude short of reality, and that is according to evolutionist’s own, outrageously optimistic assumptions.

Please show your calculations. Not that they are at all relevant to Avise's point, because we are not talking about the evolution of a single protein, but the modification of an existing genome.

But if you are going to throw around terms like "27 orders of magnitude", please show your working.

Avise’s argument is simply jaw-dropping. It is a complete misrepresentation of what we know from science.

1. Elizabeth,

This posting reminds me of the Monty Python "argument" routine. You're providing nothing here but gainsaying of whatever CH proposes. That is not providing evidence for your position. But I suppose as your position has very little going for it this is not surprising.

2. Nic June 12, 2012 11:26 AM

Elizabeth,

This posting reminds me of the Monty Python "argument" routine. You're providing nothing here but gainsaying of whatever CH proposes.

No, she's not.

3. This posting reminds me of the Monty Python "argument" routine. You're providing nothing here but gainsaying of whatever CH proposes.

That's possibly true, but all the things that CH has proposed here need to be gainsaid - they are all bullshit, as I point out, with specifics, in my post.

That is not providing evidence for your position.

I agree.

But I suppose as your position has very little going for it this is not surprising.

On the contrary, it's because there is far too much to express in a single post. However, much of the literature is open access.

4. Merda tautorum animas conturbit

16. oops, missed your last comment (and it therefore looks as though it is mine)

Avise’s argument is simply jaw-dropping. It is a complete misrepresentation of what we know from science.

No, Cornelius. What you have done is to completely misrepresent Avise's argument.

17. Elizabeth, of course universal common descent via evolution is a fairy tale for grownups (at least 15% of the population believes it).

What is frustrating is your continued equvocation of variation like guppy color variation with the mechanisms that supposedly resulted in all life forms that have ever lived. Your response, like others, is to act like there is no need to ground the hypothesis that the same mechanisms that result in guppy variation and such can continue on unbounded. To ask for strong scientific evidence of the equivocation is not met with evidence but a kind of "why shouldn't it" attitude. Like Darwin, the onus is put on the questioner to come up with a reason for why the equivocation is not valid. When did such a shallow avoidance of the scientific method become acceptable?

Evolutionists can point to bird beaks changing sizes until the cows come home, but this is an altogether different question than where the beaks originated in the first place.

1. Neal Tedford: Evolutionists can point to bird beaks changing sizes until the cows come home, but this is an altogether different question than where the beaks originated in the first place.

Beaks are keratinized layers of epidermis. Not sure why this is different in kind from evolution of beak shape.

2. Zachriel,

"Beaks are keratinized layers of epidermis. Not sure why this is different in kind from evolution of beak shape."

You really don't understand do you? Neal's point has nothing to do with the composition of the beak, it's strictly a question of origin of the beak. Such a lack of comprehension is truly stunning.

3. Nic: Neal's point has nothing to do with the composition of the beak, it's strictly a question of origin of the beak.

The beak's origin is related to its composition. Keratin is a component of the epidermis. A thickening of mandibular keratin seems very much the same sort of evolutionary transformation as other changes to the beak's shape.

4. Nic

You really don't understand do you? Neal's point has nothing to do with the composition of the beak, it's strictly a question of origin of the beak. Such a lack of comprehension is truly stunning.

Interestingly enough, just last month a new study was published in Nature on the evolutionary history of bird skulls, including beaks:

Birds have paedomorphic dinosaur skulls
Bhullar et al
Nature (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11146 27 May 2012

"Abstract: The interplay of evolution and development has been at the heart of evolutionary theory for more than a century. Heterochrony—change in the timing or rate of developmental events—has been implicated in the evolution of major vertebrate lineages such as mammals, including humans. Birds are the most speciose land vertebrates, with more than 10,000 living species representing a bewildering array of ecologies. Their anatomy is radically different from that of other vertebrates. The unique bird skull houses two highly specialized systems: the sophisticated visual and neuromuscular coordination system allows flight coordination and exploitation of diverse visual landscapes, and the astonishing variations of the beak enable a wide range of avian lifestyles. Here we use a geometric morphometric approach integrating developmental, neontological and palaeontological data to show that the heterochronic process of paedomorphosis, by which descendants resemble the juveniles of their ancestors, is responsible for several major evolutionary transitions in the origin of birds. We analysed the variability of a series of landmarks on all known theropod dinosaur skull ontogenies as well as outgroups and birds. The first dimension of variability captured ontogeny, indicating a conserved ontogenetic trajectory. The second dimension accounted for phylogenetic change towards more bird-like dinosaurs. Basally branching eumaniraptorans and avialans clustered with embryos of other archosaurs, indicating paedomorphosis. Our results reveal at least four paedomorphic episodes in the history of birds combined with localized peramorphosis (development beyond the adult state of ancestors) in the beak. Paedomorphic enlargement of the eyes and associated brain regions parallels the enlargement of the nasal cavity and olfactory brain in mammals. This study can be a model for investigations of heterochrony in evolutionary transitions, illuminating the origin of adaptive features and inspiring studies of developmental mechanisms."

Gotta love Creationists. All the time in the world to bellyache but not a single millisecond to research before spouting off.

5. Evidence Of Design In Bird Feathers And Avian Respiration - Andy McIntosh
Excerpt: This paper explores the evidence for design in living systems. In particular, it considers two of the mechanisms used in bird flight. These include feathers and the remarkable counterflow mass exchanger breathing system used in the avian lung system. Both systems are examples of the principle of specified functional complexity, which occurs throughout nature. There is no known recorded example of this developing experimentally where the precursor information or machinery is not already present in embryonic form. Such design features indicate non-evolutionary features being involved.
http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=399

No Evidence Of Birds Evolving From Anything

6. Neal: Elizabeth, of course universal common descent via evolution is a fairy tale for grownups (at least 15% of the population believes it).

Well, tell me what you mean by "a fairy tale".

It's a hypothesis - one that makes predictions that are supported by data.

What is frustrating is your continued equvocation of variation like guppy color variation with the mechanisms that supposedly resulted in all life forms that have ever lived.

And what is frustrating for me is that no matter how much I explain that I am not equivocating, and why I am not equivocating, and that speciation is different from adaptation, and that variation in guppy markings is adaptation and that there is no good reason to think that adaptation can't just keep on going, you keep on accusing me, without any attempt at a counter-rebuttal, of "equivocation".

Your response, like others, is to act like there is no need to ground the hypothesis that the same mechanisms that result in guppy variation and such can continue on unbounded.

Well, tell me what the bounds are supposed to be. It is you who is hypothesising bounds - tell me what they are.

To ask for strong scientific evidence of the equivocation is not met with evidence but a kind of "why shouldn't it" attitude.

But why shouldn't it? You never answer, except to start talking about speciation, which, as I keep saying, is different. Speciation can occur without adaptation; adaptation can occur without speciation. Adaptation is incremental change down a lineage in favour of what promotes reproductive success. We know it occurs, because we observe it, both in the lab and field. We can also observe much longer series of incremental changes in the fossil record. We can also track them in the genetic record.

We observe no mechanisms by which they should be "bounded", nor any boundaries. The onus is therefore on those who insist that those bounding mechanisms exist to tell us what they are supposed to be.

Like Darwin, the onus is put on the questioner to come up with a reason for why the equivocation is not valid.

There is no equivocation. There is extrapolation, as there is in any science. You do not have to measure the speed of light from every light source to conclude that it is the same everywhere. In the case of adaptation we have a mechanism, which we observe in real time, both in lab and field; we have evidence of its effects over deep time, in the fossil record; and we have evidence of its traces in the genetic record.

Sure, you can always say: but you haven't proved it. No, we have not. Common descent may not be strictly true (indeed we know that descent, for a start, is not strictly longitudinal). But adaptation by means of natural selection acting on descent with modification, as proposed by Darwin is a fact - it has been directly observed - and remains a well-supported candidate to account for the long-term adaptation we observe in the fossil record,as well as for the hierarchical pattern of heritable characteristics of living things.

When did such a shallow avoidance of the scientific method become acceptable?

It is neither avoidance nor shallow. It is your understanding of the scientific method, as well as of the nature of scientific claims, that is in error.

Evolutionists can point to bird beaks changing sizes until the cows come home, but this is an altogether different question than where the beaks originated in the first place.

And as I've already said, and pointed out why, no, it is not. So I'll point it out again, with the same question to you: why is variation in hardness of mouth parts different from variation in size of beaks?

You have attempted to carve nature at an illusory joint.

There may well be a handful of dramatic events in the history of organisms (genuine joints), but beaks are very unlikely to be one of them. We ourselves have beak genes!

7. Further note on Thorton's supposed evidence for bird evolution:

Tales Rescue Evolution from Unexpected Data - May 2012
Excerpt: Adult birds as dinosaur fetuses: Two evolutionists, by studying the shape of bird heads and dinosaur hatchlings, came up with a new idea about the origin of birds: they are dinosaurs that never grew up. Somehow, the first birds were dinosaurs that “sped up the clock” of embryonic development and arrested it before maturity. As a result of what might be called the Peter Pan theory of evolution, ostriches, condors, hummingbirds and penguins were not far behind.,, Is this a new law of nature? Are whales arrested embryos of cattle? Are humans arrested embryos of monkeys? In the report on Science Daily, they didn’t point to any other instances of such an evolutionary process, but added “arrested embryonic development” to Darwin’s strategic toolkit: “Ultimately, Abzhanov said, the way the bird skull evolved — through changes in the developmental timeline — highlights the diversity of evolutionary strategies that have been used over millions of years.”
http://crev.info/2012/06/tales-not-data/

Thorton perhaps you would care to demonstrate that mutations in early embryonic development can actually do anything at all (besides kill, deform and destroy) before you claim this as a mechanism for Darwinism?

Modern Synthesis of Neo-Darwinism Is Dead - No Evidence For Body Plan Morphogenesis From Embryonic Mutations - Paul Nelson - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5548184/

Understanding Ontogenetic Depth, Part II: Natural Selection Is a Harsh Mistress - Paul Nelson - April 7, 2011
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/04/understanding_ontogenetic_dept_1045581.html

8. bornagain77: As a result of what might be called the Peter Pan theory of evolution, ostriches, condors, hummingbirds and penguins were not far behind.

It's called paedomorphism, the retention of juvenile characters in the adult. For instance, dogs have been bred to retain juvenile traits, such as floppy ears, large eyes, docility, so we know these sorts of changes are within what can be expected of natural variation (mutation).

bornagain77: Is this a new law of nature?

Heterochrony, the timing of developmental events, has been an important component of evolutionary theory for quite some time.

You may want to look at the actual paper.

Bhullar et al., Birds have paedomorphic dinosaur skulls, Nature, 2012.

9. 'You may want to look at the actual paper.'

You may want to present some actual evidence that the scenario is even plausible!

Modern Synthesis of Neo-Darwinism Is Dead - No Evidence For Body Plan Morphogenesis From Embryonic Mutations - Paul Nelson - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5548184/

Understanding Ontogenetic Depth, Part II: Natural Selection Is a Harsh Mistress - Paul Nelson - April 7, 2011
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/04/understanding_ontogenetic_dept_1045581.html

10. bornagain77: You may want to present some actual evidence that the scenario is even plausible!

We did. Dogs exhibit paedomorphic traits, and those traits were available through natural variations.

11. 'We did. Dogs exhibit paedomorphic traits, and those traits were available through natural variations.'

Hmmm variation within kind???

Cichlid Fish - Evolution or Variation Within Kind? - Dr. Arthur Jones - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036852

But variation witthin kind is not your claim. You are claiming that unlimited variation from one kind of species to a entirely new kind of species can be achieved by mutations early in embryological development. And your claim is contradicted by all empirical studies that have found that novel Body Plan morphogenesis cannot be achieved by such mutations early in embryological development. Simply pointing to variation within a kind of species does nothing to alleviate the burden of proof you must shoulder to support your claim!

Notes:

Response to John Wise - October 2010
Excerpt: A technique called "saturation mutagenesis"1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12 None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans--because none of the observed developmental mutations benefit the organism.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/10/response_to_john_wise038811.html

'No matter what we do to a fruit fly embryo there are only three possible outcomes, a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly. What we never see is primary speciation much less macro-evolution' –
Jonathan Wells

moreover, in neo-Darwinism you don't even have the right theoretical framework for figuring out where the Body Plan information is located in the first place:

Cortical Inheritance: The Crushing Critique Against Genetic Reductionism - Arthur Jones - video
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4187488

In Embryo Development, Non-DNA Information Is at Least as Important as DNA - Jonathan Wells - May 2012
Excerpt: Evidence shows that non-DNA developmental information can be inherited in several ways. For example, it can be inherited through chromatin modifications, which affect gene expression without altering underlying DNA sequences. Another example is cytoplasmic inheritance, which involves cytoskeletal patterns and localization of intracellular molecules. Still another example is cortical inheritance, which involves membrane patterns.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/05/in_embryo_devel060031.html

Indeed a call has gone out for a entirely new theoretical framework:

The Fate of Darwinism: Evolution After the Modern Synthesis - David J. Depew and Bruce H. Weber - 2011
Excerpt: We trace the history of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, and of genetic Darwinism generally, with a view to showing why, even in its current versions, it can no longer serve as a general framework for evolutionary theory. The main reason is empirical. Genetical Darwinism cannot accommodate the role of development (and of genes in development) in many evolutionary processes.,,,

12. bornagain77: Hmmm variation within kind???

Apparently, birds and theropods are the same 'kind'.

13. Whatever Zach, the point is made, you have no empirical basis for your claim. Only you claiming your figments of imagination represent reality! i.e. pseudo-science!

14. This comment has been removed by the author.

15. bornagain77: Whatever Zach, the point is made, you have no empirical basis for your claim.

You were pointed to a recent paper on paedomorphism. You were pointed to an example of domestic breeding. You indicated that dogs are the same 'kind' as wolves. Well, birds are apparently the same 'kind' as theropods, which is supported by the cited study. Your reply was to wave you hands.

16. Actually Zach, it is you who refuses to back up your claim with empirical evidence that such change is even possible with the genetic reductionism model of neo-Darwinism. The similarity you cite as proof that such change is even possible is certainly begging the question and reveals your blatant disregard for the scientific method! and is also very reminiscent of Haeckel's fraudulent embryos. Do you also want to defend their continued use as evidence for neo-Darwinism?

Icons of Evolution 10th Anniversary: Haeckel's Embryos - January 2011 - video

Haeckel's Bogus Embryo Drawings - The faked drawings compared to actual pictures
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Image:Ontogeny2.jpg

Actual Embryo photos;

There is no highly conserved embryonic stage in the vertebrates: - Richardson MK - 1997
Excerpt: Contrary to recent claims that all vertebrate embryos pass through a stage when they are the same size, we find a greater than 10-fold variation in greatest length at the tailbud stage. Our survey seriously undermines the credibility of Haeckel's drawings,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9278154

Current Textbooks Misuse Embryology to Argue for Evolution - June 2010
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/06/current_textbooks_misuse_embry035751.html

Here is a excellent deconstruction of PZ Myer's favorite Icon Of Evolution (PZ named his 'science' blog after it!);

Challenging the Precious Pharyngula - Casey Luskin - July 2011
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/07/challenging_the_precious_phary048291.html

The mouse is not enough - February 2011
Excerpt: Richard Behringer, who studies mammalian embryogenesis at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “There is no ‘correct’ system. Each species is unique and uses its own tailored mechanisms to achieve development. By only studying one species (eg, the mouse), naive scientists believe that it represents all mammals.”
http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57986/

17. bornagain77: it is you who refuses to back up your claim with empirical evidence that such change is even possible with the genetic reductionism model of neo-Darwinism.

Have no idea what you mean by a "genetic reductionism model of neo-Darwinism". We do know that there is a sufficient source of genetic novelty within organisms, such as canines, that we can select for paedomorphic traits over a few generations. None of your links seem relevant.

18. Zach,

"We do know that there is a sufficient source of genetic novelty within organisms, such as canines, that we can select for paedomorphic traits over a few generations."

Okie dokie, go into a lab, breed a lizard or whatever for a few generation and see if a bird pops out from the information already inherent within. Shoot better yet breed a dog for few generations and see if a bird pops out. Think about it, a dog that could actually fly would be extremely fun to play catch with! :)

19. Ever hear of a bird dog,BA?

20. Thorton,

"Gotta love Creationists. All the time in the world to bellyache but not a single millisecond to research before spouting off."

Gotta love evolutionists. If it's written in a paper and it supports evolution it is simply a fact. What a joke.

18. Like other superstitions and archaic theories that are scientifically wrong, evolution has influenced research to the detriment of humanity. Take one of the all time poster boys that evolutionists used for over a century to claim, "God wouldn't have done it that way"... the human APPENDIX.

Modern research is showing that not only does the appendix have function, but it is better to treat the appendix rather than take it out. This is leading to a new approach in dealing with appendicitis ... no thanks to Darwinists. Darwinists are quick to jump on the inefficency and junk bandwagon when function is not immediately determined.

Now consider the design viewpoint that the human body was intelligently designed and how it could lead to a more thoughtful and determined research efforts... rather than lump everything that is not understood as evolutionary refuse. Scientific progress moves forward regardless of evolutionary theory, but it is a drag on progress. The future belongs to intelligent design.

1. Ignorant Creationist

Like other superstitions and archaic theories that are scientifically wrong, evolution has influenced research to the detriment of humanity. Take one of the all time poster boys that evolutionists used for over a century to claim, "God wouldn't have done it that way"... the human APPENDIX.

Modern research is showing that not only does the appendix have function, but it is better to treat the appendix rather than take it out. This is leading to a new approach in dealing with appendicitis ... no thanks to Darwinists. Darwinists are quick to jump on the inefficency and junk bandwagon when function is not immediately determined.

I see the ignorant Creationist still hasn't figured out that vestigial doesn't mean functionless. Vestigial means having lost or been degraded from its original function.

Nothing in evolutionary theory says a vestigial organ can't be adapted to perform a different function.

There's no cure for willful ignorance.

2. I suppose the over 90% Junk DNA 'prediction', did not really mean that 90% of the DNA is junk either? Gotta love a theory in science that refuses to make solid claims so as to always have room to backpedal. :) Of course, most reasonable people consider such flexibility the mark of a pseudo-science:

"nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin(ism) can be described as scientific" - Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote was as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

Science and Pseudoscience - Imre Lakatos - exposing Darwinism as a ‘degenerate science program’, as a pseudoscience, using Lakatos's rigid criteria

Is evolution pseudoscience?
Excerpt:,,, Thus, of the ten characteristics of pseudoscience listed in the Skeptic’s Dictionary, evolution meets nine. Few other pseudosciences — astrology, astral projection, alien abduction, crystal power, or whatever — would meet so many.
http://creation.com/is-evolution-pseudoscience

3. There's no cure for batspit77's chronic mental flatulence either.

4. Actually Thorton you could cure my 'chronic mental flatulence' by producing just one molecular machine by neo-Darwinian processes:

Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design - video

"There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation of such a vast subject."
James Shapiro - Molecular Biologist

Michael Behe - No Scientific Literature For The Evolution of Any Irreducibly Complex Molecular Machines
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5302950/

Further notes:

Programming of Life - Biological Computers - video

Cells Are Like Robust Computational Systems, - June 2009
Excerpt: Gene regulatory networks in cell nuclei are similar to cloud computing networks, such as Google or Yahoo!, researchers report today in the online journal Molecular Systems Biology. The similarity is that each system keeps working despite the failure of individual components, whether they are master genes or computer processors. ,,,,"We now have reason to think of cells as robust computational devices, employing redundancy in the same way that enables large computing systems, such as Amazon, to keep operating despite the fact that servers routinely fail."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616103205.htm

5. The Ribosome of the cell is found to be very similar to a CPU in a electronic computer:

Dichotomy in the definition of prescriptive information suggests both prescribed data and prescribed algorithms: biosemiotics applications in genomic systems - 2012
David J D’Onofrio1*, David L Abel2* and Donald E Johnson3
Excerpt: The DNA polynucleotide molecule consists of a linear sequence of nucleotides, each representing a biological placeholder of adenine (A), cytosine (C), thymine (T) and guanine (G). This quaternary system is analogous to the base two binary scheme native to computational systems. As such, the polynucleotide sequence represents the lowest level of coded information expressed as a form of machine code. Since machine code (and/or micro code) is the lowest form of compiled computer programs, it represents the most primitive level of programming language.,,,
An operational analysis of the ribosome has revealed that this molecular machine with all of its parts follows an order of operations to produce a protein product. This order of operations has been detailed in a step-by-step process that has been observed to be self-executable. The ribosome operation has been proposed to be algorithmic (Ralgorithm) because it has been shown to contain a step-by-step process flow allowing for decision control, iterative branching and halting capability. The R-algorithm contains logical structures of linear sequencing, branch and conditional control. All of these features at a minimum meet the definition of an algorithm and when combined with the data from the mRNA, satisfy the rule that Algorithm = data + control. Remembering that mere constraints cannot serve as bona fide formal controls, we therefore conclude that the ribosome is a physical instantiation of an algorithm.,,,
The correlation between linguistic properties examined and implemented using Automata theory give us a formalistic tool to study the language and grammar of biological systems in a similar manner to how we study computational cybernetic systems. These examples define a dichotomy in the definition of Prescriptive Information. We therefore suggest that the term Prescriptive Information (PI) be subdivided into two categories: 1) Prescriptive data and 2) Prescribed (executing) algorithm.
It is interesting to note that the CPU of an electronic computer is an instance of a prescriptive algorithm instantiated into an electronic circuit, whereas the software under execution is read and processed by the CPU to prescribe the program’s desired output. Both hardware and software are prescriptive.
http://www.tbiomed.com/content/pdf/1742-4682-9-8.pdf

6. Honors to Researchers Who Probed Atomic Structure of Ribosomes - Robert F. Service
Excerpt: "The ribosome’s dance, however, is more like a grand ballet, with dozens of ribosomal proteins and subunits pirouetting with every step while other key biomolecules leap in, carrying other dancers needed to complete the act.”
http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev200910.htm#20091015a

Nobel Prize In Chemistry: What Ribosomes Look Like And How They Function At Atomic Level – 2009
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007081536.htm

Yonath on “ingeniously designed” ribosome? Everyone tells us she didn’t mean it … - February 2012
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/yonath-on-ingeniously-designed-ribosome-everyone-tells-us-she-didnt-mean-it/

Here is the ribosome animation that was done 'based on' work from Yonath's group:

Ribosome animation

The Ribosome: Perfectionist Protein-maker Trashes Errors
Excerpt: The enzyme machine that translates a cell's DNA code into the proteins of life is nothing if not an editorial perfectionist...the ribosome exerts far tighter quality control than anyone ever suspected over its precious protein products... To their further surprise, the ribosome lets go of error-laden proteins 10,000 times faster than it would normally release error-free proteins, a rate of destruction that Green says is "shocking" and reveals just how much of a stickler the ribosome is about high-fidelity protein synthesis.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090107134529.htm

19. Conceding design,what avenues of research would that open up? An example or two? How does one determine an unknown Designer's goal?

1. velikovskys June 12, 2012 1:32 PM

Conceding design,what avenues of research would that open up?

Im guessing the avenues wouldn't be tree-lined..

An example or two? How does one determine an unknown Designer's goal?

Whether it's an own goal, perhaps?>

2. "avenues wouldn't be tree lined..."

Not for atheists,or evolution loving non atheists,or those who believe in the multiple designers( looking at you ,Louis), or the wrong designer.

3. velikovskys,

"How does one determine an unknown Designer's goal?"

At least with a designer you can assume a goal, unlike evolution which has no goal or plan. How do you study that scenario with any effectiveness? Just another example of bankrupt evolutionary thought processes.

4. You didn't really answer the answer, the designer's motives could be varied.

Curiosity, take a planet,provide a spark and watch what happens.

Boredom, life as the ultimate reality show.

Cruelty, life as a real life Hunger Games.

Underachieving designer,enthusiastic at first,but losing interest after a while,we are relegated to the pile of half done projects

Or the God of the Bible

Neal says once we accept ID ,research will flourish,any examples?

20. Nic

velikovskys, "How does one determine an unknown Designer's goal?"

At least with a designer you can assume a goal, unlike evolution which has no goal or plan. How do you study that scenario with any effectiveness?

The same way every other field of science operates. Make empirical observations. Form testable hypotheses. Do experiments. Modify or reject the hypotheses as necessary based on the data. Form a coherent theory that accounts for all the observations.

How do you determine (let alone test) the designer's intentions?

Just another example of bankrupt evolutionary thought processes.

At least evolution has thought processes. ID has a pack of scientifically illiterate Fundies offering scripture as an answer to every new discovery.

1. "At least evolution has thought processes."

But alas Thorton you claim, as a atheistic materialist who believes in Darwinism, that your mind is merely illusory. Thus you have literally 'lost your mind' in your 'science', and are thus your 'thought process' is merely a victim to whatever state the material particles of your brain happen to be in at any given time i.e. no 'thought process' just 'thought dictation':

Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer - video – (Notes in description)
http://vimeo.com/32145998

Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
http://www.robkoons.net/media/69b0dd04a9d2fc6dffff80b3ffffd524.pdf

Christianity Gave Birth To Each Scientific Discipline - Dr. Henry Fritz Schaefer - video
http://vimeo.com/16523153

2. Thorton,

"The same way every other field of science operates. Make empirical observations. Form testable hypotheses. Do experiments. Modify or reject the hypotheses as necessary based on the data. Form a coherent theory that accounts for all the observations."

You never fail to amaze me with your complete lack of intelligence. If evolution has no plan and no goal what are you really studying? You're simply shooting wildly in the dark. If there is no design, if there is no goal, if there is no purpose, there is no reason to do research has it will have no real impact on the present or the future.

3. Nicholby: If gravity has no plan and no goal what are you really studying? You're simply shooting wildly in the dark.

http://www.aerospaceguide.net/saturn_lv.jpg

4. Zachriel,

"Nicholby: If gravity has no plan and no goal what are you really studying? You're simply shooting wildly in the dark."

You're equivocating. The study of gravity is geared to understanding a known and recognized feature of nature. As it is not a biological process it is not to be understood in the same way. Gravity does not have a goal or plan, but it does have a purpose.

5. Nic: You're equivocating.

Your claim was that if the phenomenon under investigation has no plan and no goal, you're simply shooting wildly in the dark.

Nic: The study of gravity is geared to understanding a known and recognized feature of nature.

So is the study of evolution, a process that can be directly observed.

Nic: Gravity does not have a goal or plan, but it does have a purpose.

What is the "purpose" of gravity?

6. Zachriel,

"So is the study of evolution, a process that can be directly observed."

Evolution is not observable. Extrapolating minor changes into wholesale changes is not observing evolution.

"What is the "purpose" of gravity?"

If you're really serious about that question may I suggest you acquire your answer by trying to function without it.

7. Nic: Evolution is not observable. Extrapolating minor changes into wholesale changes is not observing evolution.

We observe evolution, have theories of evolution, and investigate the history of organisms as they evolve.

We observe gravity, have theories of gravity, and investigate the history of matter under the influence of gravity.

It doesn't help that you conflate meanings of scientific terms, especially when the meaning is clear in context.

We observe evolution, the change in heritable traits in populations. We can therefore study the effect of evolution over time. There is ample evidence of branching descent, both in the near term and the long term.

Nic: If you're really serious about that question may I suggest you acquire your answer by trying to function without it.

http://www.topnews.in/usa/files/International-Space-Station.jpg

It would be helpful if you at least tried to give straightforward answers.

8. Zachriel,

"We observe evolution,..."

We do not observe evolution, we observe minor changes within species and some like yourself, feel they can legitimately extrapolate that into descent from a common ancestor. That is pure rubbish and not at all scientific.

"http://www.topnews.in/usa/files/International-Space-Station.jpg"

"It would be helpful if you at least tried to give straightforward answers."

It would help if you did what you always accuse me of not doing - read something. It is a well known fact that living in a zero gravity environment carries consequences for the health of the individual. Get serious Zachriel, I'm tired of your ill conceived arguments.

9. Nic: We do not observe evolution, we observe minor changes within species and some like yourself, feel they can legitimately extrapolate that into descent from a common ancestor.

Do you have a term to describe the change in heritable traits in populations? We also observe adaptation.

Nic: It is a well known fact that living in a zero gravity environment carries consequences for the health of the individual.

Not all organisms. Are you saying the "function of gravity" is to provide a healthy environment for humans?

10. Zachriel,

"Not all organisms. Are you saying the "function of gravity" is to provide a healthy environment for humans?"

Come on, try to present some kind of sensible case. No, the function of gravity is not to provide a healthy environment, but it is part of our environment and we need it to function properly.

You want to know the purpose of gravity, just try to imagine our existence without it. Think of what would happen if gravity were to disappear. Hopefully this will give you some idea of its purpose.

11. Nic: We do not observe evolution, we observe minor changes within species ...

Zachriel: Do you have a term to describe the change in heritable traits in populations?

Nic: Gravity does not have a goal or plan, but it does have a purpose.

Zachriel: What is the "purpose" of gravity?

21. Nic

Thorton: "The same way every other field of science operates. Make empirical observations. Form testable hypotheses. Do experiments. Modify or reject the hypotheses as necessary based on the data. Form a coherent theory that accounts for all the observations."

You never fail to amaze me with your complete lack of intelligence. If evolution has no plan and no goal what are you really studying?

Reality. You willfully ignorant Godbotherers should try it sometime.

If there is no design, if there is no goal, if there is no purpose, there is no reason to do research has it will have no real impact on the present or the future.

That may be the most idiotic thing ever posted on the internet. NO science I know of is motivated by the subject having a "goal" - geology, meteorology, archaeology, biology, chemistry, genetics, etc. Learning about our history and understanding the processes that shaped our present have a HUGE impact on how we plan for the future in virtually every aspect of life.

I've seen some mind-numbingly stupid things posted by Creationists, but you're in a class by yourself here Nicwit.

22. Thorton,

"That may be the most idiotic thing ever posted on the internet. NO science I know of is motivated by the subject having a "goal" - geology, meteorology, archaeology, biology, chemistry, genetics, etc. Learning about our history and understanding the processes that shaped our present have a HUGE impact on how we plan for the future in virtually every aspect of life."

I'm afraid your statement above takes the title for most idiotic. Every aspect of science has a goal. If it did not how could it ever accomplish anything? The goal is simple, to understand. You can't understand anything if it is goalless and without purpose. Every one of the disciplines you mentioned depend on finding purpose and pattern in what they study. To think otherwise is ignorance of the highest order.

How can research into the past have any effect on our present or future if there is no pattern, no design, no purpose? You're in a dream world pal.

23. Nicwit

I'm afraid your statement above takes the title for most idiotic. Every aspect of science has a goal. If it did not how could it ever accomplish anything? The goal is simple, to understand.

Learn how to read for comprehension Nicwit. I said the subject (i.e. the phenomenon being studied) had no goal, not that the researchers doing the studying had no goal.

You can't understand anything if it is goalless and without purpose. Every one of the disciplines you mentioned depend on finding purpose and pattern in what they study. To think otherwise is ignorance of the highest order.

I can't believe you're so stupid as to confuse the goals and purposes of the researchers of a phenomenon with the phenomenon itself needing goals and purposes.

Actually you're a Creationist. I can believe you can be that stupid.

How can research into the past have any effect on our present or future if there is no pattern, no design, no purpose? You're in a dream world pal

Hahaha! Now you're trying to sneak the word pattern into your stupid argument. Of course the processes of evolution have left understandable patterns, patterns that can give us great insight into how to help predict future events. One quick example is the NIH researching the evolutionary history and patterns of pathogens like HIV so they can better predict its future vectors. This allows for a more efficient allocation of scare resources to find a cure.

You're still in league by yourself with your clueless ignorance Nic. You may want to take a break before you do yourself further damage.

1. Thorton,

"Learn how to read for comprehension Nicwit. I said the subject (i.e. the phenomenon being studied) had no goal, not that the researchers doing the studying had no goal."

You are right and I must apologize. I should not do this type of thing when I'm tired as one tends to make mental mistakes and arrive at incorrect conclusions. I'm quite tired a lot lately as I'm still recovering from a long hospital stay for cancer treatment. Again I apologize for my misunderstanding of your comment.

"One quick example is the NIH researching the evolutionary history and patterns of pathogens like HIV so they can better predict its future vectors."

This statement merely assumes that the changes in HIV are a result of evolution. It simply assumes minor changes lead inevitably to major changes. Such an event cannot be demonstrated.

While I was undergoing my treatment many of the doctors I had were involved in medical research. Not a single one of them gave the slightest thought to evolution in the course of their research. It played no role at all in their studies. One would think that if evolution were at play it would certainly be in the area of cancer.

"Learning about our history and understanding the processes that shaped our present have a HUGE impact on how we plan for the future in virtually every aspect of life."

If, as you claim, there is no purpose or goal in what's happening and all we see is the result of mindless, purposeless actions, why do we bother to study anything? If you're right our brains are the result of such purposeless actions and therefore anything we do cannot be trusted. We cannot know if any conclusions we draw are correct or simply delusions coming from a goalless, purposeless mind. We cannot possibly plan for the future because we cannot trust our minds to have a firm grasp on reality. In fact the concept of reality is strictly an illusion. We would be incapable of forming an hypothesis, let alone be able to trust any of our experiments or put faith in the conclusions we draw. We would be completely incapable of forming anything coherent.

I hold to my previous statement. If we are the result of mindless, purposeless forces, anything we do will be of the same nature.

I'm just curious, why do you feel the need to be insulting to people simply because they do not hold to the same view of the world as you? Is it necessary to call people batspit, or idiots? Do you feel your arguments are not strong enough and therefore you must resort to ad hominem attacks? Such actions are usually seen as a cover for poor evidence for your position. Perhaps you should rethink your tactics.

2. Nic

You are right and I must apologize.

Apology accepted.

This statement merely assumes that the changes in HIV are a result of evolution. It simply assumes minor changes lead inevitably to major changes. Such an event cannot be demonstrated.

It can and has been demonstrated.

The evolution of HIV-1 and the origin of AIDS

There are literally thousands of studies on the topic, all looking for clues in the past history that may help lead to a cure.

While I was undergoing my treatment many of the doctors I had were involved in medical research. Not a single one of them gave the slightest thought to evolution in the course of their research. It played no role at all in their studies. One would think that if evolution were at play it would certainly be in the area of cancer.

Wrong again.

Clonal evolution in cancer

Again, only one of thousands of studies.

Do you ever research any topic before sounding off?

I hold to my previous statement. If we are the result of mindless, purposeless forces, anything we do will be of the same nature.

What a load of hooey. You're speaking strictly for yourself when you say no one can have knowledge or goals. Myself and virtually everyone I know are quite capable of setting our own goals for happiness, are quite capable learning, are quite capable of investigating life's mysteries and adding to mankind's base of knowledge. Major pity for you if you're not.

Is it necessary to call people batspit, or idiots?

Says the guy who just the post before wrote "You never fail to amaze me with your complete lack of intelligence."

3. Thorton,

"While I was undergoing my treatment many of the doctors I had were involved in medical research. Not a single one of them gave the slightest thought to evolution in the course of their research. It played no role at all in their studies. One would think that if evolution were at play it would certainly be in the area of cancer."

You say I'm wrong again. How can you possibly know that? I'm talking about the doctors with whom I spoke. Nowhere in my statement do I say all doctors think that way. What were you saying to me about reading for comprehension?

"Myself and virtually everyone I know are quite capable of setting our own goals for happiness, are quite capable learning, are quite capable of investigating life's mysteries and adding to mankind's base of knowledge."

But if you're correct and we are the result of blind, purposeless forces, your mind is not free to think for itself. You cannot set your own goals as you do not have the freedom to do so. You're only acting in ways those blind, brute, purposeless forces allow you to act. If evolution is true, you have no free will.

I'm sorry, but saying someone lacks intelligence is not equal to saying they're batspit or an idiot.

24. That was a bit of the bait and switch. Originally it was design,goal and purpose.you added pattern to the mix. Are you saying for something to have a pattern it is designed? Was the Grand Canyon designed,did the river have a goal to create that design? Was that the river's purpose?

1. Never mind,ninjaed

2. I'd like Nic to tell us the goal and purpose of a volcano, or the goal and purpose of plate tectonic movements, or the goal and purpose of spinal meningitis.

After all, according to him we can't understand anything if it is goalless and without purpose.

3. This comment has been removed by the author.

4. No Nic he didn't claim that science doesn't have a purpose,but it sounds like you do agree ,as you said volcanoes and plate tectonics don't have a goal in mind,then likewise mutations and evolution don't need to have a goal either,the purpose is supplied by we humans. Who said these forums don't bring agreement.

5. velikovskys,

"then likewise mutations and evolution don't need to have a goal either,the purpose is supplied by we humans."

If humans are the result of mutations and evolution, and both of them without goal or purpose, then we are without goal or purpose and can supply neither as we cannot trust our actions or their results. All our intellect is an illusion. Therefore, all conclusions we would draw from the supposed practice of that intellect would be meaningless.

6. Whoa big boy, don't jump off the bridge.

Whether person believes in purpose or not ,he doesn't step into traffic. In other words, we trust our senses everyday. Millions of atheists find plenty of meaning in life, love of a spouse or child, the inspiration of nature, the love of intellect,the quest for the perfect enchilada, laughter.

Now if those things are unfulfilling for you,religion is there for you.

7. If humans are the result of mutations and evolution, and both of them without goal or purpose, then we are without goal or purpose and can supply neither as we cannot trust our actions or their results. All our intellect is an illusion. Therefore, all conclusions we would draw from the supposed practice of that intellect would be meaningless.

No, all it might mean is that we are not here to fulfill the ulterior purpose of some other being. That we are free, in other words - to engage in purposeful activity including the exercise of our intellects.

Of course it might not even mean that - if scientific accounts of evolution are correct, all it means is that if there was a purposeful designer of the universe, s/he was smart enough to design a universe in which his/her intended beings would emerge as a direct consequence of the properties of that universe.

8. veliskovsy,

"Millions of atheists find plenty of meaning in life, love of a spouse or child, the inspiration of nature, the love of intellect,the quest for the perfect enchilada, laughter."

This may seem like a sound argument, but it is not. The perfect enchilada notwithstanding, all you mention requires atheists living off of borrowed capital. In other words, atheists having no source for the existence of these factors are simply borrowing concepts of faith based beliefs. They are aware of these concepts and their importance to our lives so they appeal to them but deny the source.

If we arose through blind, purposeless processes from where would come the concept of love, the concept of humour or beauty? If we arose through blind chance such concepts would be meaningless as they would have no foundation other than purposeless evolution. Evolution cannot account for such concepts as they are not physical in nature. Neither can you appeal to the mind of man as the source as the mind would also be the result of purposeless processes.

The bottom line is the mere existence of such things as love, beauty, humour, etc., point to an intelligent source for their existence, not to blind purposeless chance which utterly incapable of producing such concepts.

"Now if those things are unfulfilling for you,religion is there for you."

Religion is the source of 'those things' and is there for you as well.

9. Elizabeth,

"No, all it might mean is that we are not here to fulfill the ulterior purpose of some other being. That we are free, in other words - to engage in purposeful activity including the exercise of our intellects."

Why do you assume the motives of a superior being would be ulterior? This is simply a display of your biased thinking and is not consistent with one who portrays herself as an intellectual.

By what logic do you appeal to the freedom to exercise our intellect? If we are the result of blind, purposeless processes we have no freedom. We are simply slaves to our evolved nature. What kind of purposeful activity could we engage in if we are in fact caught in the evolutionary process which is proceeding blindly down a purposeless path? It's obvious you do not take the time to follow your arguments through to their logical conclusions.

"Of course it might not even mean that - if scientific accounts of evolution are correct, all it means is that if there was a purposeful designer of the universe, s/he was smart enough to design a universe in which his/her intended beings would emerge as a direct consequence of the properties of that universe."

If there was a 'purposeful designer' the concept of evolution would by definition, be false.

10. Nic: If we arose through blind, purposeless processes from where would come the concept of love, the concept of humour or beauty?

The actuality (not the concept) of love, humour and beauty are characteristics of certain species. For instance, a mother rabbit loves her babies.

11. Nic,

I agree completely ,there is an intelligent source for those concepts, us. Why do I find my baby beautiful and my neighbor's resembles the mailman, oops.
If there is a universal source of these positive attributes,why the subjective appreciation? Why do people like opera and others not?
Are all abstract concepts borrowed capital from God,even the less savory ones?

Sorry for all the questions. One last one,are we born with the concept of God imbedded?

12. Zachriel,

"The actuality (not the concept) of love, humour and beauty are characteristics of certain species. For instance, a mother rabbit loves her babies."

How do you know a mother rabbit loves her babies? Are you a rabbit? Perhaps the mother rabbit only works from a sense of duty. You have absolutely no way of knowing or demonstrating a mother rabbit loves her babies in the same sense of love we experience.

Tell me what exactly is the actuality of love, humour and beauty? Where do they originate? If they really are actual ,and by this I assume you mean they are concrete, please show them.

13. velikovskys,

"I agree completely ,there is an intelligent source for those concepts, us."

The problem here is if we are only the result of blind, unintelligent and purposeless forces how can we make any claim to intelligence? We have no basis on which to build these concepts as they would only be the product of a purposeless mind. From a purposeless mind would flow purposeless concepts.

"If there is a universal source of these positive attributes,why the subjective appreciation? Why do people like opera and others not?"

That's a good question. I believe it's due to the fact we indeed have free will and choose those things we find beautiful, funny, etc., That does not mean those things I think are not beautiful for instance, are in fact ugly. It simply means I do not see them as beautiful. As for your kid being cute, how can it not be? It's your kid.

"One last one,are we born with the concept of God imbedded?"

Personally I believe we are.

14. Nic: How do you know a mother rabbit loves her babies?

The same way anyone knows someone else loves their children, by their actions. A mammalian mother nurses her children, cuddles them, protects them, until they can go out into the world on their own. In other words, a mother sacrifices something of herself for her children.

Nic: You have absolutely no way of knowing or demonstrating a mother rabbit loves her babies in the same sense of love we experience.

By the way she gazes at her children. You've apparently never had experience with mammals and their children. But you're right, perhaps she is a zombie. Perhaps you are a zombie.

Nic: Tell me what exactly is the actuality of love, humour and beauty?

What is this "love" you are referring to? Demonstrate the existence of love. (See how utterly vacuous solipsistic arguments can be?)

15. Zachriel,

"The same way anyone knows someone else loves their children, by their actions."

A rabbit is not a human, how can you possibly compare the actions of a mother rabbit to the actions of a human mother? You simply do not and cannot know what motivates the rabbit other than perpetuation of the species. Is she acting out of love in the same manner that we experience love? Highly unlikely.

"A mammalian mother nurses her children, cuddles them, protects them, until they can go out into the world on their own. In other words, a mother sacrifices something of herself for her children."

This is true, but what are the factors which motivate the rabbit? Do you really believe rabbits and humans are on the same plane?

"By the way she gazes at her children. You've apparently never had experience with mammals and their children. But you're right, perhaps she is a zombie. Perhaps you are a zombie."

Oh, but I have. But I also understand dogs, rabbits, cats, etc., are fundamentally different than we are. Saying the mother rabbit is motivated to care for her offspring by different factors than we are is not to say she is a zombie. I nowhere implied that. Lower mammals obviously have a sense of altruism, but I don't believe it is of the same nature as ours.

"What is this "love" you are referring to? Demonstrate the existence of love. (See how utterly vacuous solipsistic arguments can be?)"

Are you really going to deny love exists?

Claiming the existence of love is not a solipsistic argument by the way.

16. Nic: A rabbit is not a human, how can you possibly compare the actions of a mother rabbit to the actions of a human mother?

Just did. A mammalian mother nurses her children, cuddles them, protects them, until they can go out into the world on their own. In other words, a mother sacrifices something of herself for her children.

Nic: Are you really going to deny love exists?

So you can't demonstrate the existence of this something you call "love". Apparently, you think humans have this characteristics, but not rabbits. You might want to provide an operational definition.

17. Zachriel,

"Just did. A mammalian mother nurses her children, cuddles them, protects them, until they can go out into the world on their own. In other words, a mother sacrifices something of herself for her children."

Do you really believe this is an adequate response? If you do, I'm disappointed. The fact a rabbit 'sacrifices something of herself' does not put the rabbit on the same plane as a human mother. Do rabbits, dogs, etc., maintain a relationship with their offspring for the rest of their lives?

I suppose the next thing you're going to argue is rabbits have comedy clubs and art galleries.

Come on Zachrial, do you really want to hang your hat on this argument?

"So you can't demonstrate the existence of this something you call "love". Apparently, you think humans have this characteristics, but not rabbits. You might want to provide an operational definition."

You're out of your mind if you think you can deny the existence of love. What I said was you can't explain how love came to be by physical forces. It, like humour and beauty come from a source other than one which would allow evolutionary explanations.
If you think you can explain these factors as arising through blind, purposeless and goalless processes go for it.

You're the one making the claim that rabbit love is equal in nature to human love, so I'm afraid the ball is in your court to provide 'operational definition' which would support your claim. I'll be waiting.

18. Nic: You're out of your mind if you think you can deny the existence of love.

You have twice refused to answer the question.

So while you claim that other humans have this trait called love, you deny it of rabbits. How do you know other humans aren't zombies? You don't. You infer, based on their behavior, that they share a similar inner life to what you experience. Similarly, it is reasonable to infer that other mammals share a similar (though not identical) feeling towards their children. Anyone watching a cat mother her kittens or worrying when one is missing can see this is true.

Nic: You're the one making the claim that rabbit love is equal in nature to human love, so I'm afraid the ball is in your court to provide 'operational definition' which would support your claim. I'll be waiting.

We already did. We judge the love of humans and other animals by the same measure, their willingness to sacrifice. And this trait is common in mammals, especially mother and children. Returning to the original point:

Nic: If we arose through blind, purposeless processes from where would come the concept of love, the concept of humour or beauty?

Zachriel: The actuality (not the concept) of love, humour and beauty are characteristics of certain species. For instance, a mother rabbit loves her babies.

Human-love is not the same as rabbit-love, but they share a common ancestry. In evolutionary terms, nursing and caring for children is a reproductive strategy that has been successful for the class of mammals.

As for the mother rabbit, she makes no excuses. She merely loves and acts accordingly.

19. Zachriel,

"Anyone watching a cat mother her kittens or worrying when one is missing can see this is true."

And anyone who has cats who have kittens know that after the kittens are gone the mother cat soon demonstrates no further concern as to where they went. She goes back to life as usual. Do you suppose a human mother would react the same way if her offspring were taken away to an unknown fate?

"We judge the love of humans and other animals by the same measure, their willingness to sacrifice."

If willingness to sacrifice is the only measure by which you measure love all I can say is you have very poor and narrow understanding of the concept of love.

"Human-love is not the same as rabbit-love, but they share a common ancestry. In evolutionary terms, nursing and caring for children is a reproductive strategy that has been successful for the class of mammals."

Well. I'm glad you finally admitted rabbit love is not the same as human love.

Now for your assertion that humans and rabbits share a common ancestor. Please identify that common ancestor.

20. Nic: And anyone who has cats who have kittens know that after the kittens are gone the mother cat soon demonstrates no further concern as to where they went.

Yes, some humans abandon their children, even before they are self-sufficient. Some organisms mate for life. Others don't. Some spend much longer on child rearing, and in humans, this can span generations.

Nic: If willingness to sacrifice is the only measure by which you measure love all I can say is you have very poor and narrow understanding of the concept of love.

You didn't answer the question. Again.

Nic: Well. I'm glad you finally admitted rabbit love is not the same as human love.

Never said they were exactly the same thing. It's not even the same between different humans or different rabbits.

Nic: Now for your assertion that humans and rabbits share a common ancestor. Please identify that common ancestor.

The ancestors of mammals were therapsids, which descended from more primtive amniotes. But you really need to resolve your other issues first.

21. Zachriel,

The ancestors of mammals were therapsids, which descended from more primtive amniotes. But you really need to resolve your other issues first."

No, your entire argument hinges on a common ancestor. So demonstrate for me how therapsids constitute a common ancestor for man and rabbits. Have you got a chain of evidence to present, or is it the usual presumptions and just so stories?

22. Nic: No, your entire argument hinges on a common ancestor.

Let's review. You started by making a claim about the origin of beaks. Turns out that beaks are made of keratin, the same substance the forms the structure in the epidermis.

Then you argued that if evolution has no plan or goal, it is "shooting wildly in the dark". When we pointed out that we can directly observe evolution, you equivocated.

After that, you argued that "blind, purposeless processes" can't lead to love. When we pointed out that love, by at least one definition, exists in species related to humans, you argued otherwise. When asked, you couldn't provide a definition of how you were using the term.

Now, you skip on to common descent. See the problem, Nic?

There are a number of evidences for common descent, including the fossil succession and the nested hierarchy.

23. Zachriel,

"When we pointed out that we can directly observe evolution, you equivocated."

Do you know what equivocation means? I have never equivocated in regards to the idea of observable evolution. There is no such thing, only erroneous extrapolation from minor adaptations to wholesale changes.

"When we pointed out that love, by at least one definition, exists in species related to humans, you argued otherwise."

No, I did not. I clearly stated you cannot demonstrate love as we experience it is the same as that experienced by rabbits. I never said rabbits did not experience some form of love for their offspring. Unlike you I do not see it as equal to our experience and I demonstrated why.

"Now, you skip on to common descent. See the problem, Nic?"

It was you who brought in common descent by arguing rabbits and humans share a common ancestor and therefore could experience love in the same way. Please don't accuse me of bouncing around when it is you who is doing so.

"There are a number of evidences for common descent, including the fossil succession and the nested hierarchy."

The fossil record in no way, shape or form demonstrates common descent, it clearly shows stasis. As for nested hierarchy, this is simply classic circular reasoning - nested hierarchies are evidence for evolution and evolution is the explanation of nested hierarchies. Is that really the best you can come up with, two old, worn out arguments?

24. Nic: Do you know what equivocation means?

It's confusing two different senses of a word or concept.

Nic: I have never equivocated in regards to the idea of observable evolution. There is no such thing, only erroneous extrapolation from minor adaptations to wholesale changes.

We are quite certain we used the term correctly.

National Academy of Sciences: Evolution consists of changes in the heritable traits of a population of organisms as successive generations replace one another. It is populations of organisms that evolve, not individual organisms.

The University of California Museum of Paleontology: Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations). Evolution helps us to understand the history of life.

Here is a discussion of evolution as fact and theory.

Stephen Jay Gould: Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty.

Nic: I clearly stated you cannot demonstrate love as we experience it is the same as that experienced by rabbits.

And we pointed out that you can't demonstrate that other people experience love as you experience it.

Nic: I never said rabbits did not experience some form of love for their offspring.

Nic: If we arose through blind, purposeless processes from where would come the concept of love,

The ability (not the concept) evolved.

Nic: It was you who brought in common descent by arguing rabbits and humans share a common ancestor and therefore could experience love in the same way.

Not the exact same way, any more than they run the same way or digest the same way. Humans and rabbits are both derived from a common ancestor.

Nic: The fossil record in no way, shape or form demonstrates common descent, it clearly shows stasis.

It does? Hmm, the geological strata on planet Earth shows continuous changes. To trace one broad pattern, from single-celled organisms to primitive animals to vertebrates to fish to land vertebrates to amniotes to mammals to primates to homonids to humans. If we look more closely, we see synapsids preceding mammals, and theropods preceding birds, and so on. We can arrange them into nested hierarchies. Or we can trace the incremental evolution of irreducibly complex structures, such as the mammalian middle ear.

Nic: As for nested hierarchy, this is simply classic circular reasoning - nested hierarchies are evidence for evolution and evolution is the explanation of nested hierarchies.

The nested hierarchy is the logical consequence of branching descent. Not sure what you think it means.

25. Zachriel,

"Evolution consists of changes in the heritable traits of a population of organisms as successive generations replace one another."

"Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations). Evolution helps us to understand the history of life."

I really don't know why you provided these comments. Both of them simply assume the fact of evolution and use the erroneous extrapolation of minor adaptations into wholesale changes resulting in all life forms descending from a common ancestor.

Such claims are not new and certainly not proof of anything.

"And we pointed out that you can't demonstrate that other people experience love as you experience it."

I can agree with that comment, but I can't agree with your extrapolation which equates it with the difference between the human experience of love and that of a rabbit. It is at that point where you attempt to do so that your wheels fall off.

"Not the exact same way, any more than they run the same way or digest the same way. Humans and rabbits are both derived from a common ancestor."

This is what I mean by ill-conceived arguments. Equating concrete activities such as running with abstract concepts such as love. They do not equate at all.

"To trace one broad pattern, from single-celled organisms to primitive animals to vertebrates to fish to land vertebrates to amniotes to mammals to primates to homonids to humans."

What we see is a natural placing of lower living forms ascending to higher living forms. Fossils found lower are those one would expect in the lowest regions such as sea bottoms ascending up towards land dwelling creatures. As always there are exceptions to this placement, but as a general rule that is the pattern.

"The nested hierarchy is the logical consequence of branching descent. Not sure what you think it means."

That is your assumption. Nested hierarchies can be explained by common need more logically. In other words, a dog needs to breath oxygen so it has a system which allows it to do that. A human needs to breath oxygen as well and it also has a system to facilitate that. It's simply presumption of evolution that causes one to conclude the systems are the result of common descent. It is simply wrong to assert the only explanation of similar systems is common descent.

26. Nic: I really don't know why you provided these comments.

You misread our comment because you insist upon using your personal definition. Words are defined by usage, in particular, scientific terms are defined by how scientists use the terms. We provided citations from the National Academies, the UC Museum of Paleontology, and noted evolutionary biologist, Stephen Gould. That should be sufficient to support our use of the term above.

By the way, what do you call the change in heritable traits in populations?

Nic: I can agree with that comment, but I can't agree with your extrapolation which equates it with the difference between the human experience of love and that of a rabbit.

We have previously stated they are not "equal". Is there a reason this isn't sinking in?

Nic: Equating concrete activities such as running with abstract concepts such as love.

Which returns to one of the many questions we have asked about your position. How are you defining "love". You also keep bringing up the "concept" of love. You do realize that love and the conception of love are different things? We have conceptions of faeiries too.

Nic: Fossils found lower are those one would expect in the lowest regions such as sea bottoms ascending up towards land dwelling creatures.

Huh? Fish swim on the bottom of the sea. They don't exist in the lowest strata. Reptiles, mammals, primates, humans, all walk on the land, yet they appear in that order in the strata.

Zachriel: The nested hierarchy is the logical consequence of branching descent. Not sure what you think it means.

Um, no. It's a logical necessity.

Nic: Nested hierarchies can be explained by common need more logically.

That's a converse claim. Try to read carefully. There may be other reasons for a nested hierarchy, but branching descent inevitably results in a nested hierarchy.

Nic: In other words, a dog needs to breath oxygen so it has a system which allows it to do that. A human needs to breath oxygen as well and it also has a system to facilitate that.

That doesn't explain the nested hierarchy, which correlates unrelated characteristics, such as endogenous retroviruses.

27. Zachriel,

Zachriel: "The nested hierarchy is the logical consequence of branching descent. Not sure what you think it means."

Zachriel: "Um, no. It's a logical necessity."

It's not a logical necessity at all as another explanation is possible. You only see it as logical due to your presumption of evolution as the only explanation.

"but branching descent inevitably results in a nested hierarchy."

If by branching descent you mean common descent then you're only restating your original argument, so I'm not really sure what you're getting at. If other explanations are possible to explain NHs it hardly qualifies as a strong argument for evolution.

"such as endogenous retroviruses."

My gosh Zachriel, read something about ERVs which was written in the last five years. It is a long dead & buried argument for evolution. Make some effort to stay informed.

On a different note, I must take a break from this blog for a while. I have Leukemia and have suffered a minor setback. I need to take some time to deal with the situation.

Take care. I wish you all the best.

Nic

28. Nic: It's not a logical necessity at all as another explanation is possible.

You are confused on basic logic, or perhaps just don't understand certain terms. This is our claim:

B = Branching descent
N = Nested hierarchy

If B then N.

However, that does not necessarily mean the converse is true, If N then B.

The nested hierarchy is an inevitable consequence of branching descent, that is If B then N. You're saying there may be another cause of N, and that may be true, but you have to at least understand the claim first.

Nic: If by branching descent you mean common descent then you're only restating your original argument, so I'm not really sure what you're getting at.

Branching descent is a certain pattern of descent. You can have common descent without branching descent. Consider the leaves of an oak tree. If we arrange them by branch and stem, they inevitably form a nested hierarchy.

Nic: On a different note, I must take a break from this blog for a while.

Wish you the very best.

25. "purpose of a volcano" "purpose of plate tectonic movements"

Volcanism and Plate Tectonics on Earthlike Planets - September 21, 2009 By Dr. Hugh Ross
Excerpt: A team of planetary scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Hawaii have studied yet another example of fine-tuning required for a planet to possibly sustain advanced life: the need to ensure that volcanism, with respect to time over the history of planet, is maintained at the just-right levels.2 In their analysis of the geodynamics of planets approximating the mass of Earth, the team determined that plate tectonics physics and chemistry must be carefully fine-tuned to guarantee that the needed continents, oceans, and levels of volcanism are sustained for long enough periods of time.

Just-right continent building and volcanism are critical ingredients for bringing about changes in Earth's atmosphere and surface so as to adequately compensate for changes in the Sun's luminosity—the problem of the faint Sun paradox.3 Degassing from volcanic activity helps with this vital compensation by bringing about changes in the chemistry of Earth's atmosphere.
http://www.reasons.org/articles/volcanism-and-plate-tectonics-on-earthlike-planets

'purpose of spinal meningitis'

Welcome to the Theological discipline of Theodicy Thorton!:

Why did God allow Adam and Eve to sin in the first place?
Excerpt: Why? – For what purpose did God allow sin to enter the world?
Why? – Why has God so ordered the present state of our world to include the fall and subsequent redemption?
Why? – Why does the state of the next life include the possibility of eternal life in heaven, but also the possibility of eternal torment in hell?
Why? – If God knew Adam and Eve would fall why did He allow them to be tempted?
The question was even asked; “why does hell have to be so awful?”

1. Os Guinness - If God is God, Why do Bad Things Happen? Part I - video
When it comes to questions of suffering and evil, no one has all the answers. However, author and speaker Os Guinness presents a compelling case that leads to faith and courage. With an engaging style, he introduces three perspectives on evil, examines the difference between suffering and evil, and shares steps to help you think through the problem of evil.

2. Why did the Designer choose to design the sun in a way that something had to compensate for it? What part of plate tectonics has purpose,each molecule of the magma,each atom of the continents,the radioactive decay, if plate tectonics is discovered on another planet without life,what was its purpose?

So if childhood leukemia is the result of the fall, what is its goal or purpose? To make us do what?

3. Since Dr Ross has such insight into the Designer's mind and method,what is the purpose of volcanism on Mars?

4. Well vel, perhaps when you die and are brought before the presence of the Creator, i.e. God, you can ask God yourself (if you are even able to speak at all). Until then, welcome to the Theological discipline of Theodicy. A Theological discipline which has nothing to do with establishing whether Darwinism is 'scientifically' true or not.

5. Interesting non answer. You brought it up as example of natural occurrences having purpose. I thought you actually were making the argument . It just seemed sort of sketchy that a volcano on earth has one purpose and one on Mars has another. That makes the argument seem ad hoc.Then I wondered which part a the volcanic system is the purpose centered in.

Then you brought up that disease is the result of the fall, ok fine, what is the purpose of childhood leukemia, what is the goal? Simple question.

Or is it non evidence evidence.

6. Bornagain77,

Thank you for your input, I appreciate it greatly. Contrary to what Thorton thinks your references are appreciated and helpful.

Keep up the good work.